Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Pentagon's Mismanagement of Iraq's Police Force

The New York Times reports on the tragically inept program to reconstitute the Iraqi police force:
Before the war, the Bush administration dismissed as unnecessary a plan backed by the Justice Department to rebuild the police force by deploying thousands of American civilian trainers. Current and former administration officials said they were relying on a Central Intelligence Agency assessment that said the Iraqi police were well trained. The C.I.A. said its assessment conveyed nothing of the sort.
After Baghdad fell, when a majority of Iraqi police officers abandoned their posts, a second proposal by a Justice Department team calling for 6,600 police trainers was reduced to 1,500, and then never carried out. During the first eight months of the occupation — as crime soared and the insurgency took hold — the United States deployed 50 police advisers in Iraq.
Against the objections of Colin L. Powell, then the secretary of state, the long-range plan was eventually reduced to 500 trainers. One result was a police captain from North Carolina having 40 Americans to train 20,000 Iraqi police across four provinces in southern Iraq.
The neocons who came into power in 2001 were so sure of themselves, and so dismissive of those who experience did not confirm their faith-based foreign policy, that they have badly damaged our country's ability to execute a coherent foreign policy
Time and again we have seen the neocons rudely dismiss the views of those who dare to disagree. Their contempt for the professionals who conduct our foreign policy--in the military, the intelligence community and in the foreign service--has cost us dearly.
This is why Dems should be cheering the cadre of former military officers who have stepped forward to run for Congress. For most of my lifetime, voters have given the edge to Republicans when it comes to national security. But when asked who they trust on Iraq in last week's ABC News/Gallup poll, 50% to 36% preferred Democrats. The current Republican regime has abandoned the central ground on national security, and we should do all we can to support those men and women in uniform who are challenging the wrongheaded thinking that got us into this mess.


Blogger Vigilante said...

There was purpose behind Rumsfeld's going in light & cheap in Iraq. Lowering the profile in terms of personnel and purse was intended to make this discretionary war more marketable.

11:39 AM, May 21, 2006  

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