"Senior officials in the Iraqi government have characterised corruption as the second insurgency -- that's pretty strong language in a place like this," Benedict said. "Iraqis view it a serious problem, and we certainly share that view."
Widespread graft is drawing scrutiny as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government seeks to match success on the battlefield with government reforms and political progress. After more than five years of war, violence across Iraq has dropped to levels not seen since 2004. But Iraq scored only above Myanmar and Somalia in 2007 in transparency.