Rep. Waters Introduces Legislation to End U.S. Funding and Training for the Iraqi Security Force
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), Chair and Co-founder of the 76-Member "Out of Iraq" Congressional Caucus, recently introduced H.R. 3134, the Responsible Security in Iraq Act. This bill would prohibit the use of funds for the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians.
Rep. Waters said, "Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were both supported and equipped by the United States in the past. How can we be sure we're not putting guns in the hands of a future enemy?"
Initial assumptions about the ability of our military to train effective Iraqi security forces were seriously flawed.
Despite efforts to generate a sizeable national force, the Iraqi security forces have not developed as fast as the Bush Administration promised and, as a result, are not capable of taking responsibility for the nation's security. Without a unifying central government to which a majority of Iraqis are loyal to, we are merely training different factions of a violent sectarian conflict.
"Even more troubling," Rep. Waters said, "there is no guarantee that the Iraqi troops we equip will remain loyal to the United States. We risk raising an army that might one day be turned against the United States or our allies in the region.
In fact, there is already wide evidence of participation by Iraqi personnel in death squads, kidnappings and sectarian violence across Iraq. The U.S. must learn from our past mistakes; we must halt the irresponsible training and equipping of fighters in Iraq."
Since the start of the Iraq War in March of 2003, the U.S. has invested over $19 billion in training and equipping of Iraq security forces personnel, including $133 million for the purchase and transfer of over 370,000 small arms.
Neither the Department of Defense nor the Government of Iraq can determine how many of the nearly 350,000 personnel trained by U.S. lead forces are still serving in the Iraqi security forces, and whether such personnel have been properly vetted or trained.