- Jan 4, 2002
Army recruitment scrapes the barrel
By Michael Howard in Baghdad
July 27, 2005
The vetting of recruits to Iraq's police force is so poor that many who join up have criminal records, are barely literate, or are members of the insurgency.
This week's Time magazine quotes a new US report compiled by Pentagon and State Department officials which says that although training for the new Iraqi police force has improved, there are still serious problems.
"Too many recruits are marginally literate; some show up for training with criminal records or physical handicaps; and some recruits allegedly are insurgents," the report says.
It compares to a recent assessment by the US military in Iraq that said only half the country's police battalions were capable of fighting insurgents. The military estimates that Iraqi security personnel number 171,300.
It will make depressing reading for the Bush Administration, whose exit strategy rests on the ability of Iraq's nascent security forces to gradually assume control of the country.
But attempts on Monday to meet the August 15 deadline for a new constitution received a boost when Sunni Arab representatives - who had walked out of talks last week after one of their colleagues and his adviser were shot dead outside a Baghdad restaurant - said they would return to the negotiating table, and drafters announced agreement on several key articles of the new charter.
The new US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, weighed in to the debate about the constitution on Monday, saying the US would work to guarantee the rights of Iraqi women and to opposing ethnic and religious factions pushing for broader autonomy in the new Iraqi state.
Mr Khalilzad spoke of the need to avert a "civil war", a possibility that Iraqi and US officials speak of here with growing frequency. To reach an accommodation, he said, it would be necessary for each of Iraq's main ethnic and religious groups to "accept less than its maximum aspirations".
Meanwhile, a US soldier accused of shooting to death Iraqi police and then shooting himself in support of a claim that he acted in self-defence pleaded guilty on Monday, the day his court-martial was to begin in Kentucky.
The Guardian, The New York Times
the US have a long long way to go. Unless some serious changes are made The US and coalition isnt going to make it.
No matter how they try to spin it.
(when earlier Bush stated that had already trained 150,000 personal)