A new audit reports that the US State Department wasted over $200 million on the Iraq police training program, building massive compounds and setting up an elaborate scheme without ever successfully getting Iraq to agree to the basics of the plan.
The report says that one of the two compounds, in Basra, has been closed entirely while the other is open but scarcely used, as the State Department expressed “surprise” that Iraqis weren’t interested in the program.
The State Department issued a statement almost immediately thereafter denying that the money was actually “wasted” by saying that they think Iraq will eventually come around and accept a “scaled down” version of the program.
The $200 million is actually a drop in the bucket to what was originally supposed to be a multi-billion dollar program training police. Fortunately the auditors noticed that Iraq didn’t want the program before the bulk of the spending took place, though that doesn’t automatically mean the State Department won’t spend the money anyhow.