Hard Lessons: USAID, Pushed to the Limit

(Senior USAID official) Ross Wherry, who ultimately directed much of the agency’s reconstruction preparations, began to learn about Iraq planning in mid-2002 through a series of chance encounters, cryptic notes, and indirect suggestions that the agency should develop contingency scenarios

In every aspect of the effort—in both the humanitarian and reconstruction areas—complex contracting regulations and time pressures pushed USAID’s capacities to the limit, exposing structural weaknesses in the U.S. government’s ability to mobilize for contingency relief and reconstruction operations.

At one point (Christopher) Milligan, (USAID’s deputy director for Iraq) was directed to establish indicators for the transportation sector. “I had a turn-around time of four hours to determine how many miles of roads would be re-opened or repaired,” he said.

Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience
Chapter 1 pg. 26 pg. 27 pg. 31
From ProPublica