10 December 2006

More Iraq Study Group

The ISG had a huge amount to say on the subject of the Ministry of the Interior. In short, the whole thing is corrupt, incompetent, and subversive.

They suggest that the MoI needs serious 'institutional transformation' and from what I have seen, the Iraqis both respect and trust the IA far more than they do the IPs. The ISG's assesment of the IPs is spot-on.

They have a number of seemingly minor changes which have far broader implications than you might think.

They suggest bringing the Border police and the Iraqi National Police commandos under the Ministry of Defense, which is appropriate as they deal with more paramilitary than Law Enforcement missions. The MoD is also less corrupt and more competent, and capable of providing better support to these two organizations.

They also suggest bringing the Facilities Protection Service under the MoI. The FPS has been treated almost as feudal retainers by the ministers under which the various branches are organized (There is an FPS branch under each ministry other than MoD and MoI). This has led to them being riddled with militia members. For instance, al-Sadr's political wing control Ministry of Health and two others. MoH FPS members are nearly all Mahdi Militia members. And so on and so forth. Centralizing them and professionalizing them would cut that out.

The Iraqi Police Service is the local cops, and they pretty much suck. They need more and better gear, a serious anti-corruption drive, and so on and so forth. Read the report, it's all in there. The most important issue the group raises is the question of advisors for the IPS. The IPS has been a low priority for American advisors because there aren't many qualified advisors to assign to them. I mean, what does a Marine Infantry officer or an Army armor NCO have to tell the cops? We can train and advise paramilitary commando organizations like the INP, but beat cops?

We need FBI agents, police chiefs and commisioners, and sheriffs and sheriff deputies. We need them assigned to and integrated with the IPs, and we need to support them with finance and equipment sufficient for the task in front of them. The Iraqi Police do not conduct criminal investigations and do not know how. Much of the "Insurgency" is thugs and common criminals. There's a quote in the report about how if there were foreign troops in New Jersey, Tony Soprano would be an "insurgent". They kidnap and rob for profit and kill in the course of their criminal operations. They don't shoot it out with American troops any more than the Mafia goes around shooting at cops just for kicks in the US. They won't be rooted out without real police work, done by real cops, and that's something we aren't really building because we, as Soldiers, don't really know how.

The most important change needed in the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior would be for the Iraqi cops to start acting like Iraqi police rather than officially sanctioned Shia paramilitaries. Again, that's something the Iraqis have to do themselves.


Blogger Ms. Packrat said...

One thing that we have not done that we could possibly do for Iraq would be to encourage some of the many Iraqi expats in the US to go home for a while to try to "spread the gospel" about the benefits of living in a plural society where tolerance and toleration go hand in hand. Sort of a Peace Corps sort of thing.

1:53 AM  

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