Tuesday, August 16, 2005

REPORT: Insurgents Infiltrate Iraq Police

A recently released joint report by the U.S. Defense Department and State Department reveals that, as a result of poor screening procedures by U.S. forces, Iraqi police ranks have been infiltrated by insurgents and other criminals.

The 100-page report, issued by the inspectors general of both departments said that there was "sufficient evidence to conclude" that insurgents were "among the ranks of the Iraq police service."

The report also noted, "Recruitment and vetting procedures are faulty. Despite recent improvements, too many recruits are marginally literate; some show up for training with criminal records or physical handicaps."

Numerous bombings of Iraqi police and army recruiting centers have been orchestrated by insurgents -- often while potential recruits were waiting in long lines outside. More than 1,600 police have been killed in attacks in the past year, and killings of Iraqi security forces have tripled since January

Iraqi Ministry of Interior officials believe that they would be better able to screen candidates, instead of the current process in which coalition military personnel conduct background checks on all incoming recruits, and the inspectors general agreed.

It was also determined that Iraqi police training should be immediately handed over to the Iraqis.

In a recent assessment of the situation in Iraq, the Pentagon reported that only half of Iraqi police battalions were capable of carrying out operations against insurgents.

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