first published on March 27, 2018 by Josh
2006 was an interesting time of transition for the government forces of Iraq. The insurgency was at its height, and the government of the country was at its most vulnerable period of reconstruction. The power vacuum that was created after the collapse of the Saddam regime was only plugged by the occupying coalition forces that patrolled the streets, and attempted to keep some semblance of stability and security for the regular people of Iraq. One of the primary mission-sets of coalition forces in Iraq was to stand up and bolster the strength of freshly trained Iraqi security forces throughout the country, which was obviously something that groups like AQI did not want.
Training police and military units in Iraq was an interesting chore to say the least. Often times the individuals who were volunteering to work in these fields of work in Iraq, were doing so not for the betterment of their own country, but for the financial gains and power that could be had or found in those positions of authority. Weeding through these volunteers to find the best individuals to fill these jobs was always a difficult task, especially when you consider the harsh language barriers that existed between English speaking coalition troops, and the Arabic speaking people of Iraq. Sometimes this task would sit on the shoulders of Military Police service members and their interpreters, but often it would rest on the shoulders of young ground pounding infantry troops who would rather be fighting than nation building.
Having infantry troops train the police of Iraq was probably a good call in hindsight. Since coalition troops left Iraq, the local police of the country have been constantly and consistently engaged and tested in serious combat situations that go above and beyond the scope of a normal police officer’s job. When these guys should be directing traffic and handling domestic abuse cases, they are instead engaging members of the Islamic State and other fringe groups in all all-out gun battles. The training that they received from the military forces has probably been instrumental in their success against these groups, whereas learning how to write a proper police report on domestic abuse is less useful at the moment.
Videos like the one below, recorded at the Adhamiyah police station in Baghdad, lay down the ground work for what the Iraqi police forces were born into. As fresh recruits, the audio in the video below is what was heard on a near daily basis as the police officers trained for their job. While the corrupt were weeded out as best as possible by coalition troops, and the cream of the crop rose up to the surface, it is safe to say that the efforts of the coalition members who did this work were not a failure. We have seen the Iraqi police have great success in the past few years against the Islamic State, and that is most likely a side-effect of their infantry-based training.