Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Tuesday, March 16, 2010     GET REAL

Palestinian plan would take U.S. funds, remove U.S. security trainers

RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority has drafted a plan that would end direct U.S. involvement in Palestinian security in the West Bank.   

The plan called for Palestinian trainers to replace those brought by the United States as well as the marginalization of the team headed by U.S. security coordinator Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. Under the plan, Dayton would no longer have access to PA security forces or field operations.

"There is a consensus that the American presence has to be significantly reduced in 2010," the official said.

Also In This Edition

The PA security plan, drafted by the Interior Ministry, called for the replacement of Western security trainers with Palestinians, Middle East Newsline reported. Palestinians would be selected to instruct police and other security officers in a range of skills.

"The idea is to have only Palestinians train and direct the security forces," a PA official said. "Dayton's role would be limited to bringing money and equipment for the security forces. He would not deal with PA operations or deployment."

The official said the PA draft covered security requirements and goals for the next two years. He said the plan has been divulged to only a handful of senior officials, including Interior Minister Said Abu Ali and several security chiefs.

The plan was drafted in 2010 amid agreement by Abu Ali and Prime Minister Salam Fayad to restrict U.S. involvement in PA security forces. Officials said the PA leadership, prodded by the ruling Fatah movement, determined that U.S. intervention was hampering security force development and undermining the legitimacy of the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

A key step was the PA decision not to renew the contract of DynCorp International, responsible for training and mentoring Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and Jordan. The official said the Palestinians have succeeded DynCorp in conducting a two-month officers course while training in Jordan has been suspended.

In the future stage, the official said, Dayton, in his post since 2007, would be marginalized. Dayton's staff has already been restricted to coordination with the Interior Ministry and was no longer involved in direct training or planning.

In 2010, Dayton's staff was expelled from the Interior Ministry's Strategic Planning Department. Dayton's staff was also said to have been racked by internal disputes, and in February the general replaced his British deputy director.

Still, the PA has failed to replace DynCorp in the West Bank. PA sources said the officers course given by DynCorp in Ramallah has been suspended for lack of PA trainers.

"It is clear that the political considerations [in reducing U.S. influence] have been dominant," the official said.

About Us     l    Contact Us     l     l
Copyright © 2010    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.