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Thursday, May 12, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Report: Corrupt security forces can't protect Iraq

WASHINGTON — With seven months left until the U.S. withdrawal, Iraq's security forces remain ridden by corruption and incapable of protecting the country, a report said.


A U.S. government report asserted that Iraq's military and security forces were unable to halt Al Qaida or even protect senior officers from assassination. The report by the Office of the Special-Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said Iraq also failed to capitalize on U.S. equipment and training.

"Insurgents continued to wage a campaign of intimidation and assassination against certain GOI [government of Iraq] military and civilian personnel this quarter, killing or attempting to kill several dozen officials," the report said.

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The quarterly report, authored by inspector-general Stuart Bowen, said the 800,000-member Iraqi security forces were being terrorized by Al Qaida. In the space of several months, nearly 240 Iraqi officers and 120 civil servants were said to have been assassinated.

The office, in a Jan. 30 report to Congress, said the United States has spent nearly $20 billion, or more than a third of total reconstruction funds, for Iraq's security forces. The report said that although the Iraqis have reduced Al Qaida attacks security forces require significant U.S. training, equipment and logistics support.

"While the Iraqi Army and police are self-sufficient in meeting their basic training needs, they continue to need assistance in developing their medical, transportation and logistics cadres," the report quoted Iraqi Army Lt. Gen. Mohammed Huweidi as saying.

Still, the report cited cuts in the Iraqi and U.S. government budget for training, particularly in the police. Bowen said this has already reduced the number of police trainers in 2011 in a program headed by the State Department.

"Currently, PDP planning calls for reduced numbers of advisors and more limited geographic reach than originally envisioned, due to refined requirements and costs as well as limited availability of funds," the report said. "INL [State Department] reported that these cuts will not affect the overall mission or goals of its program, but progress may be slowed."

The report said all security forces under the authority of the Interior Ministry would face gaps in funding, command and control as well as logistics throughout 2011. The ministry was also said to have been hampered by severe corruption, including graft and bribes linked to procurement contracts.

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