The largest dam in Iraq “is judged to have an unacceptable annual failure probability,” according to assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In other words, the “most dangerous dam in the world” could potentially collapse in the near future, sending a trillion-gallon wave of water into the cities of Mosul and Baghdad and possibly killing hundreds of thousands of people. At the same time, Iraqi officials and a U.S. oversight agency say that a U.S. project to help temporarily gird the dam has been marred by incompetence and mismanagement. Microcosm, anyone?

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