The U.S. government poured more than $200 million into an Iraqi police training program that was never authorized by local authorities, according to a new government audit. The Police Development Program (PDP) was blueprinted as a five-year, multibillion-dollar effort to prepare Iraqi security forces for when U.S. troops evacuated last December.
The audit, published July 30 by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (SIGIR), uncovered that Baghdad officials never provided formal authorization for the program, and were “disinterested” in launching the initiative. Consequently, American taxpayers have been forced to relinquish $206 million, including $108 million for the construction of housing and training facilities at the Baghdad Police College Annex and $98 million for building the Basra Consulate training center. Additionally, the 41-page summary reported that the total number of advisors was to be slashed by almost 90 percent — from 350 to 36.
The State Department "decided to close the [Baghdad Police College Annex] facility, just months after the PDP started, due to security costs and program revisions,” the SIGIR disclosed in its report. Further, the Basra consulate “will not be used because the [Iraqi interior ministry] decided to terminate training at that location. This brings the total amount of de facto waste in the PDP — that is, funds not meaningfully used for the purpose of their appropriation — to about $206m.”
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Photo of Iraqi riot police in Baghdad: AP Images