Restoring Iraq’s Factories: The Good News

Paul A. Brinkley, U.S. Dep. Undersecretary of Defense for Business Transformation, at a press conference concerning the status of the Iraqi economy in Baghdad, January 19, 2007.
Brinkley is at far right. Source:

Photo Credit: Sgt. Gary A. Witte, Ready First Combat Team PAO
Al Anbar Governor Ma’moun Sami Rashid al-Awani (center) talks through a translator to Brinkley (far right) and Sheikh Abd Al-Sattar Bezia of the Rishah tribe (far right).

(I didn’t find this “Good News” story anywhere except on government or military sites. It’s a few days old, the press conference was held on January 20th, but it deserves some attention. Read an earlier related Fox News report at the end of this article.)

*Paul A. Brinkley “commits to working together” with local officials, to restore and open two factories in an industrial complex by the end of 2007.

*Al Anbar Governer Ma’moun, said “I think we are fighting the insurgents on two fronts, one economic and one by force”, noting the employees who will be put back to work when the factory opens. “That means 3,300 families. That means we will have 3,300 people who will be useful to their families.”

After touring several existing factories in Iraq, Brinkley speaks of a hopeful manufacturing environment in Iraq, and makes these points:

1. “…in almost every factory we visited, there were some extremely savvy business people who used to run these factories.”

2. “We have found…factories, that in many cases, had very modern equipment, modern automation that manufactured goods that could be competitive in a world market….”

3. Of the factories toured so far, Brinkley says there is a Top 10 List that are geographically distributed, will employ the most people the fastest, and have the fewest constraints…to go “…back into full production, which means the investment up front is relatively low.” “Under $10 million for those first ten factories”, Brinkley said.

4. “I find, in many cases, businessmen who are just ready to get their factory running again if we could just get power restored or secure their supply of raw material or secure their shipment of finished goods, or generate demand for them.” “They just want that, and they can take care of it from there.”

Read the full stories at Defend America

A January 9, 2007 report at reported “one factory restarted operations in the last two weeks, and nine more are to open by the end of this month, adding some 11,000 Iraqis to employment rolls, a Pentagon official said….” “The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been released yet. Read this story at

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