Pentagon Can’t Account for $8.7 Billion in Iraqi Funds; No Records at all for $2.6 Billion

The Pentagon can not account for 95 percent of the Iraq oil revenue from 2004 to 2007.

Via the LATPentagon can’t account for $8.7 billion in Iraqi funds

The Defense Department is unable to properly account for $8.7 billion out of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil revenue entrusted to it between 2004 and 2007, according to a newly released audit that underscores a pattern of poor record-keeping during the war.

Of that amount, the military failed to provide any records at all for $2.6 billion in purported reconstruction expenditure, says the report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which is responsible for monitoring U.S. spending in Iraq.


Though there is no apparent evidence of fraud, the improper accounting practices add to the pattern of mismanagement, reckless spending and, in some instances, corruption uncovered by the agency since 2004, when it was created to oversee the total of $53 billion in U.S. taxpayer money appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction effort.

Well, at least there is no evidence of fraud…

Of course, since we cannot “properly account” for ~95% of the cash and almost 30% of it has not record whatsoever, such claims are to be taken with a smidge of doubt, shall we say.

One of the claims that was made going into this conflict was that we would be able to efficiently reconstruct the country post-Saddam (not to mention that oil revenue was going to pay for the war).  However, these claims have proven to have been incorrect, to be kind.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, National Security, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    Ask Switzerland if they’ve seen it.


  2. ponce says:

    You don’t know what it was like, man!

    The invoices were coming at us from all sides!

    Day and night!

    We didn’t have time for any stinking double entry bookkeeping!


  3. just me says:

    I can understand how some money may have gotten lost in the paperwork, but I don’t get how you lose that much money and pure incompetence or intentional fraud or some combination not be involved.

    I can make some guesses where some money may have gone, but failing to keep the books is a pretty big failure and one without any excuse.

    I do wonder how they rule out fraud without any accurate records.


  4. wr says:

    Which just goes to prove how crazy liberals were when they said the war was waged for oil.

    It was waged to give the Republicans and their cronies one more chance to loot our country.


  5. Brummagem Joe says:

    Stuff happens!


  6. anjin-san says:

    I don’t get how you lose that much money and pure incompetence or intentional fraud or some combination not be involved.

    Fraud? How about the mother of all ripoffs? Brought to us by our friends from the Bush administration.

    And now we are laying off cops for lack of funds…