When the US belatedly realised that it would have to rebuild Iraq, after the 2003 invasion, it came up with a plan to transport billions of Dollars in cash via Hercules cargo planes (each plane could carry around $2.4BN).
Many years, audits and investigations later the US Defence Department cannot account for what happened to around $6.6BN of that cash.
This remarkable admission of fiscal incompetence comes at a time when the US (primarily thanks to the wars in the Middle East) is broke.
The Los Angeles Times reports that for the first time federal auditors are suggesting that some/all of the cash may have been stolen. Given that cash (as opposed to credit or capital equipment) was used in such huge quantities, it is hardly surprising that it was stolen.
Quite why the US thought that cash (as opposed to credit or capital equipment) was the best way to rebuild a war torn country in the Middle East beggars belief.
Iraq is none to happy with the situation and Iraqi officials are threatening to go to court to reclaim the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the UN's oil-for-food program.
Given that the US is now broke, and in danger of defaulting on its debt, it will be interesting to see if that claim succeeds.