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CRS – Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights, Kenneth Katzman, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, October 2, 2012

  • As U.S. troops completed the withdrawal by December 18, 2011, Administration officials asserted publicly that Iraq’s governing and security capacity is sufficient to continue building a stable and democratic Iraq. Iraq’s security forces number nearly 700,000 members, increasingly well-armed and well-trained. However, the Administration asserts that the ongoing violence necessitates that Iraq rededicate itself to military cooperation with and assistance from the United States, using State and Defense Department programs. These have included U.S. training for Iraq’s security forces through an Office of Security Cooperation—Iraq (OSC-I) and a State Department police development program. To date, these programs have been hampered by Iraqi efforts to emerge from U.S. tutelage: the police training program has withered and OSC-I efforts have been limited by a lack of agreement with Iraq on their legal rights and privileges in Iraq. As of August 2012, in view of the violence, Iraq has requested expedited delivery of U.S. arms as well as joint training.
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