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W&M institute issues Iraq task force report

(Williamsburg, Va.) - An independent task force of prominent U.S. security experts, working with the full cooperation of the Ministry of Interior (MOI) in Iraq, has today released its findings on the progress of institutional reforms in reducing sectarian violence and corruption in the Ministry, an organization of approximately 500,000 personnel throughout the country.

The report finds that “the Iraqi Ministry of Interior has turned an important corner in how it operates”, while also noting that “The Ministry has not yet solved all of these problems”. The reform efforts underway at the MOI come as the Ministry “finds itself as a leading element in the effort to stabilize the country in the throes of an insurgency.”

As the largest employer in Iraq, the MOI coordinates, maintains and commands a growing variety of police and security-related forces, including the Iraqi Police Service, the National Police, the Department of Border Enforcement and the National Information and Investigations Agency.

The task force, under the auspices of the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations at the College of William and Mary, was granted full access to the MOI for its research. The report was developed from personal interviews with MOI officials and data, including the review of strategic plans, budget and administrative data, management objectives and other institutional reforms. The task force researchers interviewed more than double the number of Iraqis compared to previous U.S. and Coalition-led commissions.

The task force was led by Matt Sherman, who has served more than three years in Iraq since 2003. His first two years were spent working with the Ministry of Interior, where he personally advised four separate ministers. He is currently a principal with Sherman Consulting International. Roger Carstens is a retired Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel, who in his last post served as an advisor to the Iraqi National Counter Terror Force in Baghdad, Iraq. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. The report was edited by Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, Vice Provost for International Affairs at the College of William and Mary. He served as Director of Policy Planning in the U.S. State Department and the President’s Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Peace Process.

The report is now available in English and Arabic on the Institute’s website.

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