1. SHORTFALL

    Auditors: Billions Wasted in Iraq

    FALLUJAH, IRAQ - MAY 18:  Iraqi recruits listen to U.S. Marine Chief Warrant Officer Thomas Vasquez of Manhattan as conducts training for of a new provincial security force May 18, 2007 at Camp Fallujah near Fallujah, Iraq. The new security force will help local leaders battle insurgents. Marines are part of the U.S. military effort to control the violence in Iraq.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Thomas Vasquez

    Joe Raedle / Getty Images

    For years, auditors have been trying to follow the money in Iraq, and trace just how much of America’s $51 billion in reconstruction funds have been well spent. In its final audit report Friday, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Funds said that “billions” had likely been squandered, although “the precise amount lost to fraud and waste can never be known.” The audits themselves cost $200 million. But the office still isn’t sure of the exact figures—“a complete accounting of all reconstruction expenditures is impossible to achieve,” due to budget shortfalls, the report explained.

    Read it at Associated Press