Saturday, September 08, 2007

Some positive feedback for the National Police

As expected, the Jones report I noted in the previous blog did hammer the National Police, recommending their disbanding.

And predictably, the U.S. military pushed back against that recommendation.

U.S. Military Rejects Call To Disband Iraqi Police
By Ann Scott Tyson and Glenn Kessler,
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 7, 2007; Page A15

But there was one golden ray of sunshine for me as I supervise the National Police Academy here at An Numaniyah- a positive statement (albeit from a U.S. general- but he wasn't "my" general, he was a "consumer" of our post-training product) about the change in the National Police after coming through the Academy:

Lynch and the other senior military officials said national police units vary greatly in their reliability and degree of sectarian infiltration. "Some police are good, and some are totally corrupt and are making sectarian decisions," Lynch said in a phone interview from Iraq.
Two brigades of Iraqi national police operate in Lynch's area. One of them recently completed a process known as "rebluing," in which they are retrained and often given new leadership. "They are great . . . doing what we need them to do," Lynch said. But he said "there are other national police in the area who are purely doing things for sectarian reasons, and the local citizens see them as the enemy."

Woo-hoo! Double woo-hoo! Someone other than ourselves telling us we are doing a good job!

Likewise, I corresponded earlier this week with the National Police Training Team chief from our very first Brigade that we trained (since my arrival), and LTC M. said that after a rough first week or so, his Brigade has performed admirably as well. I'm glad to hear that.

I'm actually working now with BLP, our contractor team here, to develop a more systematic evaluation tool, even though we are towards the end of the training contract. It was a deficit that I noted early in my arrival here (a monster multi-million dollar contract, with minimal metrics on training benefits? Go figure!), and I was "indirectly directed" during the last VIP visit to get it done. So a project to keep us busy and fill in some of the "down time" that I actually find an interesting task.

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