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Baghdad said it didn’t need or want U.S. help in training a new police department but that didn’t stop the federal government from blowing through $200 million attempting to train cops who wanted nothing do with with America.
The U.S. State Department saw the Iraq Police Development Program as a centerpiece of American efforts to rebuild Iraq. The department planned a five year, multibillion dollar program that would train Iraqi security forces to replace departing American troops.
But State forgot to ask the Iraqi government if it wanted U.S. help.
A State Department source tells Capitol Hill Blue the Iraqis wanted nothing to do with the program or its millions but the U.S. spent the money anyway and forced training on police officers who were — at best — unenthusiastic about getting help.
Now U.S. auditors say the State Department wasted at least $200 million on the flawed, failed and foolish training program.
So State is gutting the program and turning the $108 million Baghdad Police College to the Iraqis and will stop training at a $98 million site by the end of the year.
Said federal auditors:
A major lesson learned from Iraq is that host country buy-in to proposed programs is essential to the long-term success of relief and reconstruction activities. The PDP experience powerfully underscores that point.
Cost of that lesson? At least $200 million.