U.S. and Iraqi officials in Baghdad have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining how U.S.-funded reconstruction projects will be executed and handed over to the Iraqis under the new security agreement.
Issues such as planning, preparing and coordinating reconstruction projects will now be undertaken jointly.
The memorandum was signed by Baghdad provincial officials, including the governor, and U.S. military officials, including the commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad and the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Gulf Region District.
The agreement shows Iraqi officials "are taking charge of the reconstruction, and we are in a support role," Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commander of Multi-National Division-Baghdad, said in a press statement. "My pledge is that we will fulfill every element of this agreement; we will support it at all times. We’re proud to be part of the solution here."
Since 2003, the U.S. government has spent billions of dollars on projects in Iraq, though the effort has been plagued by mismanagement and fraud.