A U.S. government watchdog says more than $200 million was wasted on a program to train the Iraqi police force, with security concerns and a lack of interest by the Iraqi government the main culprits for the program’s shortcomings.
In an audit released Monday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, or SIGIR, auditors also said the Police Development Program faced challenges at the outset due to the lack of an assessment of Iraqi police force capabilities, and of a written commitment from the Iraqi government for the program to move forward.
Stuart W. Bowen Jr., who as inspector general leads the SIGIR office, signed the report that was sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
The purpose of the program is to help Iraqi police services develop the capabilities needed to lead, manage and sustain internal security and the rule of law. The State Department is hoping to reach those goals by 2016.
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