Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Rumsfeld Police Secret

From the Nation
March 15, 2004: "We now have 200,000 Iraqi security forces that are out there providing security in their country, and frankly, being killed themselves.... They're taking over responsibility for their country."

All those months Rumsfeld was cooking the books. In late March the Pentagon released a chart summarizing the numbers of Iraqi security force troops. It tells a different story from the one peddled by Rumsfeld. The summary notes that 75,844 Iraqis were on the payroll as police officers, but only 2,865 were fully qualified and on duty. Another 13,286 were deemed "partially qualified" and supposedly on duty, while 3,245 were in training. Three-fourths of those on the police payroll had received no training. Six months earlier Rumsfeld had declared that 55,000 police had been trained. Not even close. (Despite the small size of the new Iraqi police force, it has been a primary target of the insurgents, who recently mounted attacks on police stations in Basra that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians. And Iraqi police elsewhere have been killed in assaults.)

It goes on to say that when factoring how many personnel are fully trained, there are only 6,114 Iraqi security personnel, a far cry from the 200,000 he boasted about in March. At least he's honest about everything else.