American Efforts to Train Iraqi Security Forces Nears Failure

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This week, The New York Times reported that a multibillion-dollar police training program in Iraq — intended to serve as the centerpiece of an expanded civilian mission — has all but failed. 

According to the Times report, the State Department has significantly slashed the program from its original cadre of 350 American law enforcement officers to a mere 50 advisers. Now, it seems even those individuals may be withdrawn from the country by year’s end. The program, which began in October and has already cost $500 million, was reportedly dismissed by Iraqi officials from the outset.

Retired Lieutenant General Jim Dubik oversaw the training of Iraqi security forces from 2007-2008, serving as the Commanding General of Multi-National Security and Transition under the Department of Defense. Mr. Dubik, who is currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War, joins us to discuss the State Department’s failed efforts.

Guests:

Retired Lt. Gen. Jim Dubik

Produced by:

Marc Kilstein

Comments [1]

Part of the problem is who gets hired for such positions in Iraq. Job qualifications are not a factor in directing people in State to jobs in Iraq. There used to be a big problem hiring people who were'connected' to go there, the salaries being a lure. When I worked at State, there were people who had advanced degrees in Middle Eastern studies denied positions there, deemed 'unqualified' in spite of cultural knowledge and Arabic skills. A colleague was fired even because that colleague with a MA in Middle Eastern studies/Arabic because her local bureau had a deputy assistant secretary (DAS), now gone, who wanted to control who in his domain went where and terminated her without reason, as she was shy of being one year in the civil service (no reason need be provided). This colleague had asked the NEA Bureau to lobby on her behalf and they did - at that time the Department was struggling to find qualified people to send to Iraq. Instead, the former DAS accused her of embarassing his office and told her she had no future at State. People ask why not enough qualified folks are sent -- if the media took the effort to scratch at the surface, there are too many sad instances like this and careers have been ruined a little too easily while supporting the war effort gets lost. Alot depends on who is hired for the job and if they are allowed to do their job, another issue at State where there are too many non-related interests that interfere with solid management of a program. People who dont ask questions will do well in their performance evaluations - thus that's why millions of dollars can be blown

May. 15 2012 09:08 AM

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