BAGHDAD — Development has become a sacred cow in Iraq. Despite an agonizing war now in its fifth year, costing an estimated $1 billion per month, vast public-works projects are under way. Using imported labor and imported technology, Iraq is building dams, road networks, factories. Indeed, in a feat unequalled in contemporary history, Iraq erected a modern capital in three years’ time where before there was only dust. Iraqis are understandably proud of these achievements, and little inclined to accept criticism. And yet, it could all prove a short-lived dream.
Foreign engineers frequently complain of the arbitrary treatment they receive from their Iraqi superiors, most of whom oversee development projects not for any techn...
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