A key piece of America’s enduring presence in Iraq — a multimillion-dollar program to train police forces — could become a “bottomless pit” for taxpayer funding if officials fail to adequately assess the needs of Iraqi security forces and obtain assurances from Iraqi officials about the program’s future, according to a new federal watchdog report.
Since 2003, the United States has spent about $8 billion to train, staff and equip Iraqi police forces. With the U.S. military preparing to leave Iraq at the end of December, responsibility for the police training program transferred to the State Department this month. The department has requested $887 million to continue operating the program this fiscal year.
But a government report set for release Monday found that the department is spending just 12 percent of money allocated for the program on advising Iraqi police officials, with the “vast preponderance” of funds going toward the security, transportation and medical support of the 115 police advisers hired for the program.
When U.S. troops leave, thousands of private security guards are expected to provide protection for the thousands of diplomats and contractors set to stay behind. For security reasons, the State Department has declined to specify the cost and size of its anticipated security needs.
TVNL Comment: Uh...that's 88% of 8 billion dollars - as well as the requested $887 million) going to 115 US 'advisers.' Do the math and then consider the cuts to vital programs all over the country. War means long term profit, every time... for the military industrial complex.