US audit: $200M wasted on Iraqi police training.

Iraqi police officers shoot their pistols during training at a…

Iraqi police officers shoot their pistols during training at a range on Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq, May 1, 2007. The police officers are training with International Police Liaison Officers and the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Vanessa Valentine) (Released)

U.S. auditors have concluded that more than $200 million was wasted on a program to train Iraqi police that Baghdad says is neither needed nor wanted.

The Police Development Program— which was drawn up to be the single largest State Department program in the world — was envisioned as a five-year, multibillion-dollar push to train security forces after the U.S. military left last December. But Iraqi political leaders, anxious to keep their distance from the Americans, were unenthusiastic.

A report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, released Monday, found that the American Embassy in Baghdad never got a written commitment from Iraq to participate. Now, facing what the report called Baghdad’s “disinterest” in the project, the embassy is gutting what was supposed to be the centerpiece of ongoing U.S. training efforts in Iraq.

Source: Lara Jakes for the Associated Press.

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