Iraqi Police Lt. Col. Hussein al-Kaabi told Al-Monitor, “The current Iraqi police force is an extension of the former regime’s police, with different commanders and officers. The philosophy, laws, mechanisms and use of torture as the easiest way to extract confessions are inherited practices that prevail within the institution.”
Kaabi’s statement points to a crucial issue: The replacement of former army and police commanders and officers did not lead to the reform of the military and security institutions, which have maintained their work methods — although their re-establishment after 2003 was under the control, supervision and training of US forces and security advisers.
In fact, the replacement of commanders is important but not imperative to achieve reform, which may be brought about through addressing the structural defects of the security and military institutions and by identifying the essence of the crisis and preparing short, medium and long-term plans that include reforms.
These reforms should take on the laws under which security institutions operate and the rules by which the members and officers are selected and trained, including rehabilitation and development standards.
Drafting a clear road map that would eliminate corruption is possible today, as the Iraqi government headed by Abadi becomes serious in moving forward. The road to reform may start with the replacement of some of the security commanders, but it will not certainly end there. Iraq needs its own road map to restore its security and the strength of its military and security forces.
(Corruption image via Shutterstock)