Some12,000 Iraqi police officers have died since Saddam's
government was overthrown. The national police force currently stands at
188,000, an all time high. There were no cops after the 2003 invasion, because
the police force was a part of the security force Saddam used to terrorize and
control the Iraqi people. The police commanders were largely Sunni Arabs,
selected more for their loyalty to Saddam, than for their ability to protect
the people. The police force had to be rebuilt from scratch, and slowly because
of the need to train new people to handle leadership posts. As a result, while
the Iraqi police have suffered four times as many deadas the U.S.
forces, they have, on average, had only about half as many people. Thus you
were about eight times more likely to get killed as an Iraqi policeman, as you
were as an American soldier or marine.
Iraqi police are still corrupt and inefficient. A large number of cops have
been bribed, coerced or convinced to serve other masters (political, religious,
tribal or criminal). Turning the Iraqi police into a world class force will
take years, perhaps as long as a decade. And that's only if the government
continues support for such an effort. Meanwhile, despite the danger, divided
loyalties and other problems, the cops continue to put themselves into harms
way. There is no shortage of recruits, although most of these guys, initially
anyway, are mainly looking for a paycheck.