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Cablegate: Iraq Programs Rescission

VZCZCXRO7212
PP RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0956 0881053
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 281053Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6518
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000956

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PREL IZ REL UK
SUBJECT: Iraq Programs Rescission

1. SUMMARY: In compliance with FY 2008 appropriations language, $76
million of prior-year Economic Support Funds (ESF) for Iraqi
programs will be subject to rescission. Two key ESF programs will
specifically be affected: the Provincial Reconstruction Development
Councils (PRDC's), and the Infrastructure Security Protection (ISP)
program. Both these programs contribute directly to the Mission's
Joint Campaign Plan. We urge Washington to reconsider the decision
to assign this rescission to programs in Iraq. It undermines our
current efforts to build economic growth as well as our argument in
favor of FY08 Supplemental funding. END SUMMARY.

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Rescission Runs Counter to Sustainment of Security Gains
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2. FY-08 Appropriation legislation directs a rescission of prior
year Economic Support Funds. It has been determined that $76
million of this rescission is to be taken from Iraq assistance
programs. Post is proposing that $10 million be removed from
un-contracted funds allocated to the FY 2006S ISP program, and $66
million be removed from the FY 2007S PRDC program uncommitted funds.


3. The two programs affected - the Infrastructure Security
Protection program and Provincial Reconstruction Development
Councils - support Embassy Baghdad's Joint Campaign Plan. ISP works
closely with Iraqi security forces and is directly contributing to
the economic recovery of the country through hardening energy
infrastructure critical sites such as oil refineries or electrical
transmissions lines. Working with Iraqi security forces,
thoroughfares such as the Bayji to Baghdad Pipeline Exclusion Zone
are made secure.

4. Through the PRDC program, local provincial decision councils are
empowered to employ good governance and sound acquisition procedures
for the betterment of their communities. During the first year of
this program, most projects undertaken were strictly infrastructure
construction efforts. During this second year, we have shifted from
"bricks and mortar"-type projects to community-impact economic
projects such as market rehabilitation, tree nurseries,
slaughterhouses, etc. Losing these funds will reduce our ability to
foster economic growth in the provinces.

5. These programs have been important to our efforts to build
economic growth in an improved security environment. In addition,
we are currently engaged in a determined effort to substantiate our
need for the funds requested in the FY 2008 Supplemental. We
believe the decision to assign this $76 million rescission to Iraq
programs undermines our current work as well as our request for
Supplemental funds. We urge that this decision be reconsidered.


Crocker

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