Thursday, March 22, 2007

Report: Iraqi forces still plagued with 'ghost' troops, untrained police, broken-down vehicles

In its latest quarterly Iraq report, the Pentagon said 328,700 Iraqis have been trained for the security forces, including 136,400 soldiers - more than double the numbers of two years ago. But it added in the next sentence that the "actual number of present-for-duty soldiers is about one-half to two-thirds of the total due to scheduled leave, absence without leave, and attrition."

NEW YORK (AP) - More than three years and $15 billion (11.3 billion) into the U.S. effort to rebuild Iraqi forces, "ghost soldiers" still help fill Iraq's army ranks and no one knows how many trained policemen remain on the job, the Pentagon and U.S. government investigators report.

The Government Accountability Office says the most serious problems lie in the logistics - supplies, maintenance, transport - of Iraqi security forces. One example: The police have more than 1,000 U.S.-made trucks whose computerized systems are beyond the skills of the Iraqi mechanics who repair them.

Since soon after the 2003 U.S. invasion, the training of new military and police forces has been presented as vital to the U.S. military's handing over the counterinsurgency fight to the Iraqis.

Read the rest at AOL News

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