U.S. and Iraqi Relations: U.S. Technical Aid, 1950-1958

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Overview

A close examination of the efforts of the U.S. Operations Mission in Iraq indicates that there were some severe obstacles faced by the mission and that, despite these, the success achieved was considerable. The bulk of assistance was directed towards improving agricultural methods, but much also was achieved in such areas as preventive medicine, education and administrative improvement.

The International Cooperation Administration program in Iraq typified the Point Four ideal. Under this ideal, the U.S. helped newly-developed nations acquire technical "know-how" needed for promoting economic growth. The ICA and USOM’s technical cooperation program in Iraq provided aid in three forms:

  • U.S. technicians were detailed to advise the various branches of the Iraqi government
  • Limited amounts of supplies were provided for use by U.S. advisors to demonstrate the effectiveness of new techniques
  • Iraqi officials, technicians and students were sent to the U.S. or third countries for training and education

In the 1950s, 75% of the Iraqi population derived their livelihood from the soil, therefore agriculture constituted the most important area of USOM activity. Agricultural technicians were supplied to various branches of the government with the principal emphasis on the well-known American triumvirate of the land-grant college system -- research, education and a country-wide extension service.

The question naturally arises as to how effective was the USOM in Iraq. Without purporting to answer this question, this publication provides the documentation necessary for one to make an assessment of the program’s effectiveness. In addition, this collection will provide the user with the necessary examples of how effective the current U.S. program may be in present-day Iraq.

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