Development and Reform of the Iraqi Police Forces

  • January 01, 2008
  • COL Tony Pfaff

Despite 4 years of millions of dollars in aid, equipment, education, and advisors, Iraqi police force development lags far behind the military. Numerous reasons are offered to account for this gap: corrupt practices left over from the previous regime, infiltration by militias, weak leadership, competition by better armed and organized criminal and militant groups, and so on. However, the military is also subject to these same influences, thus none of these explanations by themselves or in combination are satisfactory. The author argues that the poor political and security environment impacts social, political, and cultural factors in ways that are predictable, understandable, and, with external help, resolvable. The author offers valuable insights into the creation of such programs as well as a number of policies and practices advisors may adopt to best facilitate the creation of a just and effective Iraqi police force.