Watchdog Criticizes US Program to Train Iraqi Police

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 6:50 am (UTC-5)
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A U.S. government watchdog agency says a program to train Iraqi police lacks specific goals and could become a “bottomless pit” of American money.

In a report released Monday, the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction said the majority of the program's funds are budgeted to pay for the security and housing of the trainers. The report says about 12 percent of the money will go towards the actual training and advising of Iraqi police.

The U.S. State Department took over the training responsibility from the military as the United States prepares to withdraw its remaining soldiers from the country.

The watchdog agency also says the Iraqi government has questioned how the program would benefit the police. It cites Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi, who said the funds should instead be used to pay for something that would help the American people.

Iraqi police and health officials said a series of attacks Monday targeting traffic police in the capital, Baghdad, killed at least four people and wounded 12 others.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced last week that all U.S. troops will withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year.