Why is this Iraqi shopkeeper beaming? Isn't Iraq's economy supposed to be struggling? Yes and no, says the author. A lot of half-baked economic schemes are floating around the war-torn country. And we better get it right because fixing the economy is crucial to the completion of the American military mission.
There is a lot of confusion about what it will take to fix the Iraqi economy and the military for better or worse is caught in the middle. Every day staff officers busily collect economic data and update metrics on briefing charts, which work their way through the hierarchy and become the basis of future policy. Unfortunately, the military does not have an internal pool of international or development economists who can help them with this process.