Sept 2007: U.S. Military Rejects Call To Disband Iraqi Police
By Ann Scott Tyson and Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 7, 2007; Page A15
Senior U.S. military commanders in Iraq rejected an independent commission's recommendation yesterday to disband the 25,000-strong Iraqi national police force, saying that despite sectarian influences the force is improving and that removing it would create dangerous security vacuums in key regions of the country.
"We are way past the point where we just fire everyone and start over," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who commands U.S. military forces in a large swath of central Iraq, where he seeks to have five more police battalions assigned.
The report released yesterday by the 20-member Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, headed by retired Marine Gen. James Jones, described the national police force as riddled with sectarianism and corruption. The force, which is 85 percent Shiite Muslim, is the only branch of the Iraqi security forces that the commission deemed beyond repair. Continued