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Friday, June 25, 2004

Quagmire 

You have to wonder: Who had the contract to train and run the Iraqi police and security? One guess.

Exhibit #782:


Security a shambles ahead of handover

With one week to go, 30,000 police officers face the sack amid serious shortages of staff and equipment

Rory McCarthy and Jonathan Steele in Baghdad
Thursday June 24, 2004
The Guardian

Up to 30,000 Iraqi police officers are to be sacked for being incompetent and unreliable and given a $60m payoff before the US hands over to an Iraqi government, senior British military sources said yesterday.

Many officers either deserted to the insurgents or simply stayed at home during the recent uprisings in Falluja and across the south.

Fourteen months after the war and just a week before the Iraqis take power on June 30, the sources revealed serious shortfalls of properly trained police and soldiers and vital equipment.

The problems are particularly critical because 35 new police checkpoints are to be set up across Baghdad before the handover, when violence is expected to escalate.

Although the US has set aside $3.5bn to rebuild the security forces, much of the training and many of the contracts have yet to be completed.

...up to 30,000 regular police officers who are now deemed unsuitable will be sacked and replaced. Each will receive $1,000 to $2,000 in severance pay - a total package of up to $60m.

"The feeling is this will allow them to generate a business and feed their family and not force them to become fighters," one source said.

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