Tuesday, November 21, 2006

America-trained police station in Baghdad failing; getting little support from Iraqi government; American soldiers want to exit

"The government’s sclerotic supply chain — clogged by bureaucracy, corruption and lack of money — has failed to provide the stations with the necessary tools of policing, from office supplies to weapons, uniforms and police cruisers.
. . . Capt. Stephanie A. Bagley, commander of the 21st Military Police Company which is responsible for training the Baya Local Police Station in southern Baghdad, "decided to focus on developing the top officers, particularly the station commanders.
. . . But the Interior Ministry, which oversees the police force, has frequently changed commanders, often citing reasons of incompetence or death threats, sometimes offering no explanation at all.
. . . Over the course of the year, as sectarianism spread in the police force, Captain Bagley saw Shiite policemen balk at orders from Sunni shift commanders and Shiite station chiefs clash with their Sunni deputies.
She has also had to confront the creep of militia influence, as militia loyalists within the force used their leverage to avoid punishment or intimidate senior leadership.
. . . The company has done everything it could to help rebuild Iraq, she said, but now they want to go home."

The New York Times. A Captain’s Journey From Hope to Just Getting Her Unit Home. November 19, 2006.

posted: tuesday, november 21, 2006, 4:25 AM ET
update: tuesday, november 21, 2006, 4:34 AM ET

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