(…Because it is important to be aware of what is happening.)
BAGHDAD, Sept. 27 — A $75 million project to build the largest police academy in Iraq has been so grossly mismanaged that the campus now poses health risks to recruits and might need to be partially demolished, U.S. investigators have found.
“This is the most essential civil security project in the country — and it’s a failure,” said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an independent office created by Congress. “The Baghdad police academy is a disaster.”
Even in a $21 billion reconstruction effort that has been marred by cases of corruption and fraud, failures in training and housing Iraq’s security forces are particularly significant because of their effect on what the U.S. military has called its primary mission here: to prepare Iraqi police and soldiers so that Americans can depart.
The most serious problem was substandard plumbing that caused waste from toilets on the second and third floors to cascade throughout the building. A light fixture in one room stopped working because it was filled with urine and fecal matter. The waste threatened the integrity of load-bearing slabs, federal investigators concluded.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A U.N. report released on Wednesday said the Iraq war provided al Qaeda with a training centre and recruits, reinforcing a U.S. intelligence study blaming the conflict for a surge in Islamic extremism.
The report by terrorism experts working for the U.N. Security Council said al Qaeda was playing a central role in the fighting in Iraq as well as inspiring a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, several hundred miles (km) away.
“New explosive devices are now used in Afghanistan within a month of their first appearing in Iraq,” said the report. “And while the Taliban have not been found fighting outside Afghanistan/Pakistan, there have been reports of them training in both Iraq and Somalia.”
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The bodies of 40 men who been tortured were found in the capital in a span of 24 hours, police said Thursday. Bombings and shootings killed at least 21 people in and around Baghdad, including five people who died from a car-bomb explosion near a restaurant.
Thirty-four people were wounded in the bombing. Many of them had serious burns, and some were not expected to survive, police Lt. Ali Mohsen said at the Kindi Hospital.
WASHINGTON — A new congressional analysis shows the Iraq war is now costing taxpayers almost $2 billion a week — nearly twice as much as in the first year of the conflict three years ago and 20 percent more than last year — as the Pentagon spends more on establishing regional bases to support the extended deployment and scrambles to fix or replace equipment damaged in combat.
The upsurge occurs as the total cost of military operations at home and abroad since 2001, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will top half a trillion dollars, according to an internal assessment by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service completed last week.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 26 — A strong majority of Iraqis want U.S.-led military forces to immediately withdraw from the country, saying their swift departure would make Iraq more secure and decrease sectarian violence, according to new polls by the State Department and independent researchers.
In Baghdad, for example, nearly three-quarters of residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling results obtained by The Washington Post.
Another new poll, scheduled to be released on Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, found that 71 percent of Iraqis questioned want the Iraqi government to ask foreign forces to depart within a year. By large margins, though, Iraqis believed that the U.S. government would refuse the request, with 77 percent of those polled saying the United States intends keep permanent military bases in the country.
WASHINGTON — About six in 10 Iraqis say they approve of attacks on U.S.-led forces, and slightly more than that want their government to ask U.S. troops to leave within a year, according to a poll in that country.
Almost four in five Iraqis say the U.S. military force in Iraq provokes more violence than it prevents.
BAGHDAD, Sept. 27 — Senior American military officials are warning that time is growing short for Iraq to root out militias inside and outside the government and purge ministries of corrupt officials who are diverting large sums of money to their own political parties.
“We are now at a time when we have a little bit of influence there,” a senior military official said. Referring to the problem of militias, he added, “There is going to come a time when I would argue we are going to have to force this issue.”
The official said political parties who were plundering ministries were squandering chances to make progress that could reduce sectarian violence.