Pipe Dreams: The Plundering of Iraq's Oil Wealth (Paperback)Erin Banco (author)
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Iraq sits on top of more than 140 billion barrels of oil, making it the owner of the world's fifth largest reserves. When the United States invaded in 2003, the Bush Administration promised that oil revenue would be used to rebuild and democratize the country. But fifteen years later, those dreams have been shattered. The Iraqi economy has flatlined, millions of people are internally displaced, and international institutions have had to provide billions of dollars in assistance to the country every year. Where did all the oil revenue go?
Reporter Erin Banco traveled to oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan--an autonomous region that holds, according to the regional government, some 45 billion barrels of crude--to uncover how widespread corruption, tribal cronyism, kickbacks to political parties, and the war with ISIS have contributed to the plundering of Iraq's oil wealth. The region's economy and political stability have been on the brink of collapse, and local people are suffering. Based on court documents and on exclusive interviews with sources who have investigated energy companies and their dealings with government officials, Pipe Dreams is a cautionary tale that reveals how the dream of an oil-financed, American-style democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan now looks like a completely unrealistic fantasy.
Publisher: Columbia Global Reports
Number of pages: 139
Dimensions: 191 x 127 mm
"With her trademark meticulous reporting, Erin Banco brings us the woefully untold story of theft in Iraq: the robbing of the Iraqi people's natural resource rights. She takes us behind the scenes of broken promises and charts an ongoing network of corruption and deceit that has continued to plunder not only Iraq's oil wealth, but the lives of its would-be beneficiaries. The result is a journalistic tour de force that can't be ignored." -- Lauren Bohn, Co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted and Middle East correspondent for The GroundTruth Project
"Erin Banco expertly tells the complicated story of corruption that lies at the heart of the endless problems gripping Kurdistan and greater Iraq. Her investigative work on the country's troubled oil industry is deeply researched and engagingly told--and it shows how mismanagement and greed have turned a resource that should be a blessing into a curse. The book offers a unique and timely window onto the country's tumultuous past, as well as a lens for understanding the instability and violence that continues to plague it today." -- Mike Giglio, Buzzfeed
"Investigative reporter Erin Banco reveals the complicated conspiracies keeping the richness of Iraqi oil from trickling down to the general populace....Banco's reportage vividly shows the human toll that deceit and subterfuge have taken on a land so rich in natural resources." - Kirkus Reviews
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