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Cablegate: Prt Baghdad: Iraqi Police Perception Of

VZCZCXRO7381
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #3505 2621230
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191230Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6979
INFO RUCNIRA/IRAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 003505

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MOPS MCAP PGOV PINR PTER PINS IZ
SUBJECT: PRT BAGHDAD: IRAQI POLICE PERCEPTION OF
CAPABILITIES

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. In furtherance of Baghdad Security Plan
(BSP) operations, PRT officers visited seven police stations
in BSP focus areas in September. Our conversations with
senior police officials revealed that police officers believe
or want us to believe that BSP focus area residents lack
confidence in local Iraqi Police (IP) units and that area IP
leaders think violence will return to pre-BSP levels when the
Coalition Forces (CF) disengage. Local IP leaders have also
apparently concluded that their officers lack training and
experience, especially with weapons. Bureaucratic blockages
between the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and local police
stations have reportedly resulted in inadequate equipment,
operations and maintenance, and detainee tracking. In
addition, militia infiltration of local police stations is
believed to be widespread. Such a situation, if true, would
be cause for concern. END SUMMARY.

IPs: Residents' Lack of Confidence, Violence to Return
without CF-IA Presence
--------------------------------------------- -----------------
2. (SBU) IP officials from most BSP focus areas disclosed to
us during our September visits that area residents have
little confidence in the abilities of local IP forces.
Investigative police, for example, complained that residents
will not speak to them about security incidents and will not
let them enter their homes without CF present. A police
station commander in Al Rasheed District confirmed that
residents "refuse" to speak with his officers because the
police "are not trusted by the residents."

3. (SBU) While pleased with the recent decline in violence
due to BSP security operations, many senior IP officials
asserted that the improved security will be impossible to
sustain without the continued presence of the CF. These
officials said they expect violence to rise after the CF
disengage. A police station commander in Al Mansour District
said the calm will only "last as long as the CF and Iraqi
Army are present."

IP Leaders: Officers Lack Training
----------------------------------
4. (SBU) Police leaders also complained that most of their
officers, particularly the recent recruits, lack training and
experience, especially with weapons. Some of our sources
complained that they themselves had received little formal
and on-the-job training. A police station commander in Al
Rasheed District surmised that "approximately seventy percent
of his officers" were inadequately trained, especially for
work in such a difficult security environment.

Bureaucratic Blockages Between MoI and Local IPs
--------------------------------------------- ---
5. (SBU) IP officials also stated that lack of MoI support
for equipment, operations and maintenance, and detainee
tracking prevent them from patrolling areas and conducting
proper investigations. Most of the facilities we saw need
general maintenance and additional supplies, and their
equipment and vehicles require repair. Few have adequate
facilities for detainees.

IPs on Militia Infiltration
---------------------------
6. (SBU) According to several recent police station monthly
reports from the stations visited, many IP officials consider
their ranks to be infiltrated by sectarian militias in spite
of CF presence at the stations. Investigative IPs from Al
Rasheed claimed that militia members among the police ranks
are responsible for many of the killings in the area. The
officials feel powerless to investigate because of lack of
internal police and national MoI support.

Comment
-------
7. (SBU) The observations above are not official IP
assessments. We will try to obtain information confirming or
refuting the claims that the IP local station officials in
BSP focus areas have been inadequately trained and are
without sufficient resources to perform regular area patrols
and to conduct proper investigations. Such a situation would
be cause for concern. END COMMENT.
SPECKHARD

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