On Sunday, April 25, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) David Johnson began a four-day trip to Iraq that is focused on the joint planning by the United States and Government of Iraq for the upcoming civilian-led police development program. During the trip, Assistant Secretary Johnson will visit Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil. This is Assistant Secretary Johnson’s third trip to Iraq.
The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the Government of Iraq, will assume full responsibility for police development training on October 1, 2011, as the U.S. reduces its military presence in Iraq. The police development program will increasingly be led by civilians. With basic security improved, the Government of Iraq and the U.S. have collaborated to develop a civilian-led police development program that will focus on advanced skills’ training and increased capacity building at senior levels of police leadership. This civilian program will promote the rule of law by partnering with the Iraqi Ministry of Interior as it supports and protects the rule of law and provides the internal security in Iraq.
This new program will include 350 American advisors, many of whom are current or former Federal, State, and local police officers. They will be based out of three program hubs in Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil. Working on mobile advisory teams, these advisors will travel by air and ground to provide consulting and advising services to senior levels of the Government of Iraq at approximately 50 field locations, on topics that include strategic planning, management, budgeting, advanced investigatory skills, anticorruption, and police curriculum development.
In addition to police development, the U.S. will expand its justice programs to assist the Government of Iraq in strengthening its criminal justice system. The INL’s justice programs will focus on court administration, judicial capacity building, public integrity, judicial security, and corrections management. INL will also initiate a new drug demand reduction program, which will help the Government of Iraq develop a nation-wide demand reduction strategy.
During his trip, Assistant Secretary Johnson is scheduled to tour police facilities in the three hub cities and to meet with a wide range of Iraqi and U.S. officials, including Iraqi Minister of the Interior Jawad Karim al-Bolani, Iraqi Minister of Justice Dara Noor Al Deen, Iraqi Chief Justice Medhat Al Mahmoud, Kurdish Regional Government Minister of Interior Karim Sinjari, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill, and Deputy Commanding General for Advising and Training LTG Michael Barbero.