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Iraqi Security Forces To Get U.S. Support After Withdrawal

Four people were killed when three car bombs exploded in Baghdad on December 15.
Four people were killed when three car bombs exploded in Baghdad on December 15.
BAGHDAD -- A U.S. official says Iraqi security forces will continue to be supported by U.S. law enforcement agencies after the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.

David T. Johnson, the assistant secretary of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, told RFE/RL that "we intend for the training to continue after 2011 but it will be training under the aegis of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and by civilian personnel only."

Johnson said the size and scope of the training program is still "being shaped" but that it will be "less focused on the elementary training of entering police officers and more on training higher-level police personnel as well as training on systems."

He added that there will be more consulting than in the past.

The security situation has been in the spotlight in Iraq since the recent deadly bombing attacks and politicians pointing to serious security breaches and infiltration of Iraqi forces by insurgents.

Johnson said that "effective legal and police institutions with strong internal controls help to prevent the intrusion of corruption whether it is political corruption or corruption of money."

Johnson arrived in Baghdad from Kazakhstan, where he helped the government draw up an antinarcotics plan.

He said a similar program is to be worked out in cooperation with the Iraqi government, although Iraq "fortunately is not a country where narcotics" are widely used or pass through to other regions.

Johnson said that the primary route for heroin from Afghanistan is through Central Asia into Russia and on to Europe, or through Iran to Turkey and on into the Balkans and Europe.

He added that some transit through Iraq would not be surprising, "but it is by no means the principal route."