US audit: $200M wasted on Iraqi police training

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Associated Press

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 4:01 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 4:31 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq said it neither needed nor wanted a U.S.-funded police training program, but it went ahead anyway at a cost of $200 million that government auditors say was a waste of money.

The Police Development Program was envisioned as a five-year, multibillion-dollar push to train security forces after the U.S. military left last December. But Iraqi political leaders, anxious to keep their distance from the Americans, were unenthusiastic.

A report released today by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction finds that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad never got a written commitment from Iraq to participate.

And despite years of effort, Iraq's police force remains a vulnerable target for militants.

The report says one of the major lessons learned is that it's essential for the host country to "buy in" to such programs.

The program is now being drastically cut back.

Sound: 4:32 aed

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