Billions of dollars meant for reconstructing Iraq have gone missing with fingers pointing out to the US Department of Defence.
According to a newly released audit by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, the Pentagon was entrusted with $9.1bn after the fall of Baghdad - money that came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas.
Out of this, nearly 95 per cent, around $8.7bn, has not been properly accounted for.
Subsequently, most of it has been at least partially tracked. However, the military failed to produce any records whatsoever for $2.6bn.
In addition, the US military continues to hold over $34mn, which it was supposed to return to the Iraqi government in 2007.
The Pentagon has blamed poor record-keeping and lax oversight. They have pledged to undergo what they call a process of archival accounting to track missing funds.
Iraqi officials say they know nothing about the missing billions.
So, where has the money gone? And with no agreement on forming a new government in Iraq who is going to take action?
Inside Story, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses with Mundher Adhami, an analyst on Iraqi affairs, Jeremy Carver, a board member of Tranparency International, and Scott Lucas, a professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham and editor of Enduring America.com.
This episode of Inside Story aired from Wednesday, July 28, 2010.
Source: Al Jazeera