More on the question of rebuilding Ramadi.
The US government and some of its allies said last week they had contributed $50 million toward a United Nations “stabilization fund” meant to rebuild the country—months after a similar $8.3 million pledge from the United States Agency for International Development.
Even if the UN (and the USAID) were honest thieves, this is just too much middle-man-ery, with too many intervening steps in which to siphon off the money. The funds—and future funds—are better given as loans directly to the Iraqi government, hard-coded for the Ramadi rebuild. Of course, that also assumes the Iraqi government under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi can be trusted not to siphon, also.
Even better, there are a number of NGOs who would do better at handling directly the task of rebuilding Ramadi, and other Daesh-shattered cities (the current list includes Sinjar, Beiji, and Tikrit; there are some 15 smaller ones, too) when those times come. The shorter the chain, even with honest and well-meaning entities, the more the originally donated or loaned funds make it to the originally intended end users.