Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Training Professional Iraqi Cops a Worthwhile Canadian Endeavour: Expert

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Training Professional Iraqi Cops a Worthwhile Canadian Endeavour: Expert

Article excerpt

Canada should train Iraqi cops: expert


KUWAIT CITY - Iraq plans to step up police training to deal with the threat of extremists -- a project one expert says would be ideal for a Conservative government that's eager to make its mark in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Harper government has put more emphasis on business and trade in emerging nations than on institution-building, said Terry Gould, who has spent several years researching and writing about civilian police missions in Afghanistan, Palestine and Haiti.

Having honest, well-trained police would be a major step towards bridging Iraq's sectarian divide, which has torn the country apart in the post-Saddam Hussein era, Gould said in an interview.

What should follow any military campaign is "a training program that attempts to build an honest, professional, civilian police service that will be connected to the community," he said.

"When you don't bring in that institution to keep order, you're going to wind up with more disorder."

Gould said funding for civilian police operations, also known as CivPol, has been stagnant for years and the number of training missions around the world has declined to just two, involving only 93 officers.

The chaos that followed the international community's failure to build an impartial police service in Libya after the NATO bombing campaign in 2011 is a cautionary tale for the coalition bombing Iraq and Syria, he added.

In Iraq, the alienation of Sunnis from the largely Shiite-run government and security forces of former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is part of the reason the country has descended back into a bloody cauldron of sectarian violence.

In Ottawa on Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and French President Francois Hollande acknowledged the current airstrike campaign won't be enough to defeat ISIL, but insisted the bombs are having an effect. …

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