A Message from the Dean
Mission Iraq
Dealmakers
A 1L Odyssey, Part 2
Isabelle Johnston Bids Farewell
Gloria Watts, Beloved Registrar, Gets Big Send-Off
The Brief
Graduation / Reunion
The Board of Overseers
Faculty News & Publications
Philanthropy
Alumni Briefs
In Memoriam
 
Mission Iraq 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

About twenty minutes later, Groarke and his party arrive in the Green Zone, the four-square-mile patch of downtown where the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) is headquartered under heavy U.S. military guard. But even here in this walled-off section on the West Bank of the Tigris there are frequent rocket and mortar attacks, particularly at night.

“On one occasion earlier this year, rockets landed not far from the trailer in which I was sleeping,” Groarke writes. “The trailer rocked as if there were an earthquake, but I was unharmed.”

Earlier this year he was close enough to feel a powerful car
bomb that detonated near the “Assassin’s Gate.” Scores of people were killed or injured. “Last year I had the privilege,” he writes, “of staying at the Al-Rashid Hotel before it was blasted by six missiles.” The Al-Rashid is the 400-room hotel booked by most American officials. Some rooms took direct hits, killing at least one and wounding 15.

Groarke arrived in Egypt two years ago with his wife and two daughters. His mission: to negotiate what has become an $18 billion rebuilding effort that has morphed into a brutally hard and hazardous task.

His job is to implement reconstruction activities in every province of Iraq, a work that has been slowed by a growing insurgency of car bombings, shootings, and road blocks that have become part of daily life. Add to that the rising death toll of American soldiers, the brutal murders of four civilian security specialists, the beheading of a freelance contractor last May from Philadelphia’s suburbs, and the prisoner abuse scandals that eroded yet further America’s image around the world. According to one report, all of this has raised security costs from 10 to 25 percent of all reconstruction monies through September 2004. Reconstruction work has been delayed or slowed to a crawl.

 
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