BAGHDAD ø Iraqis continue to show increasing willingness to join the
U.S.-sponsored police and security forces.
A report by the Coalition Provisional Authority asserted that Iraqi
recruits for the nation's security services continued to rise in wake of the
capture of ousted President Saddam Hussein in mid-December. As of Dec. 25,
the report said, 5,400 Iraqis were recruited in the security forces, a major
increase from a low of 2,800 recruits on Nov. 27.
The increase in recruits has led to a major expansion in the Iraqi
security forces. On Oct. 31, the report said, Iraqi security forces numbered
116,000. By Dec. 25, the Iraqi force level increased to 165,000.
The CPA has failed to come close to fulfilling its goals in manning the
new Iraqi Army and the Civil Defense Corps. The army has only one percent of
its planned manpower of 40,000 soldiers while the CDC has 15,200 out
of a planned 40,000-member force level, Middle East Newsline reported.
Officials said the goal is for an Iraqi security force of 226,000
people. They said manpower goals for police and the Iraqi Facility
Protection Service have been surpassed or nearly achieved.
"As far as the new Iraqi army is concerned, there are 400 new Iraqi
soldiers on duty with the 4th ID [Infantry Division]," CPA senior adviser
Dan Senor said. "The goal with the new Iraqi army is to
get in the neighborhood of 35- 40,000."