Skip to comments.Supplying Reliable Electricity a Top Priority in Baghdad Surge
Posted on 06/05/2007 5:29:30 PM PDT by SandRat
Expectations high among Iraqi residents for U.S. projects
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq, June 5, 2007 Providing power to Baghdad residents remains a priority, as witnessed by the 62 projects accounting for more than a quarter of the civil military operations funds dedicated this year more than $44 million.
The challenge to get the lights on throughout the Iraqi capital remains a priority for the Multi-National Division - Baghdad.
It was an inefficient system to begin with and what we have done is, by our electrification projects in general, weve improved distribution so that the power that comes in is distributed more efficiently. U.S. Lt. Col. John Rudolph
There is a perception that Ive seen in every sector of this region we have responsibility for, when I talk to the Iraqis, that the Americans have the ability to put a man on the moon, and yet they cant provide us with electricity, said Brig. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, the deputy commanding general for support with Multi-National Division - Baghdad. That whole idea of an expectation that we promised and havent delivered causes a great deal of problems.
Intermittent electrical supply is not a new problem for the citys population. Baghdad has never had electricity flowing to its six million residents 24 hours a day. Electricity, or the
lack thereof, was a tool used by the Baathist regime to reward or punish the population.
You saw areas favored by Saddam and his regime see power longer throughout the day, but they still didnt get power 24/7, said Lt. Col. John Rudolph, the assistant chief of staff of civil military operations for Multi-National Division Baghdad. They still had to use what they called the generator men, who were entrepreneurs who had their own generators and supplied power to local neighborhoods for the off power periods, even during Saddams period.
It was an inefficient system to begin with and what we have done is, by our electrification projects in general, weve improved distribution so that the power that comes in is distributed more efficiently, Rudolph said. However, the level of available power goes down. It goes out to more places, but it doesnt last as long.
Brooks said the provision of power to Baghdad neighborhoods remains a function of governance, and it will be the Iraqi government who will need to illuminate the Iraqi capital.
Our effort here has to be more than a physical one, to not only find ways to improve those systems physically, but also have to work back through that governance effort to ensure that people who are in positions of responsibility in government are not sectarian and are not biased in the delivery of essential services to all people, Brooks noted.
The gloves need to come off at some point.
Not our military’s job. They won’t love us because the lights are on. They ought to thank us for lifting the Al-Q burden and turn on the lights themselves with oil revenues.
well maybe if they get electricity up and running Iraqis will be able to play counterstrike co-op or Doom 3 or something. Maybe with something to occupy their time they’ll stop blowing things up and going on killing sprees.
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