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Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
INL Programs
Country Program: Iraq

Iraq Program Overview

INL Mission in Iraq

To help the Government of Iraq develop a criminal justice system that is sufficiently effective and fair; that Iraqi citizens will turn to the courts and other government institutions, rather than to violent militias and other illegitimate means, to resolve disputes and seek justice.

History and Structures

  • Since 2003, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has been using our extensive expertise in civilian law enforcement, courts/judicial systems, correctional systems, and criminal justice development in post-conflict environments to effectively manage large-scale programs in Iraq. We provide management, direction, and accountability for program resources, to include monitoring program performance, contracts, and interagency agreements; budget formulation and justification; selection, training and oversight of contracted advisors; as well as identify and implement policy and operational improvements. Funding for INL activities in Iraq currently comes from both direct Congressional appropriations to the State Department and, to support the police program, fund transfers from the Department of Defense.

  • INL has a dedicated staff of foreign policy professionals – principally career Foreign Service officers, civil servants, subject matter experts, and project and contract managers – in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

  • In Washington, INL formally created its Office of Iraq Programs (INL/I) in 2007. INL/I is currently staffed by 14 career foreign and civil service officers as well as experts in policing, justice, and corrections.

  • To assist in contract oversight and related functions for its biggest programs (Iraq and Afghanistan), INL also created a new division in its Resource Management office for Afghanistan, Iraq, and Jordan support (AIJS).

INL Police Program

National Security Presidential Directive 36

  • On May 11, 2004, a National Security Presidential Directive assigned the mission of organizing, training, mentoring, and equipping Iraq’s security forces, including the police, to the Department of Defense until such time as the Secretaries of State and Defense agree it should transition to the Department of State.

Support of Multi-National Forces – Iraq (MNF-I)

  • INL supports CENTCOM and Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) in their efforts to develop Iraq’s civilian security forces and law enforcement institutions. Under MNF-I’s direction, INL provides civilian law enforcement expertise in the form of International Police Advisors (IPAs). IPAs are dedicated law enforcement professionals contracted to work with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior and its civilian security forces, including the Iraqi Police Service and the Department of Border Enforcement. They provide technical expertise, training, and mentoring alongside Coalition forces. In addition, INL provides contracted support for IPAs, to the extent it is not provided by Coalition forces. This includes meals, housing, information technology and communications, medical, security, interpretation, and equipment support.

INL Justice Program

  • INL is engaged in a number of projects designed to help Iraq build the capacity of the courts and judicial institutions and enhance the independence of the judiciary.

  • Three expert rule of law advisors assigned to the INL-Baghdad office, as well as three assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), help the INL career staff to develop, implement and manage these programs.

  • INL also funds the deployment to Iraq of up to 14 Department of Justice Resident Legal Advisors who support criminal justice assistance initiatives at the PRTs and at Embassy Baghdad.

Legislative Framework Assistance

  • Through a grant to the University of Utah, S.J. Quinny College of Law, INL is providing advisory assistance in the development of legislation to reinforce the independence of the judiciary, as well as to modernize criminal/penal codes.

Courts Assistance

  • Judicial and Court Security – INL funds a range of implementers that includes the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a private company – Civilian Police International (CPI) – for efforts to improve security for judges and courts, including providing judicial security assessments and recommendations for the Government of Iraq, secure housing for judges, physical upgrades to courthouse security systems, and providing training/advisory assistance.

  • Judicial Capacity Building – INL is collaborating with the Government of Iraq, specifically the Higher Judicial Council (HJC), on a joint initiative – the Judicial Education and Development Institute (JEDI) – to deliver continuing legal education to Iraqi judges, judicial investigators, and court administrative staff.

  • Court Administration – INL is working with the Higher Judicial Council to strengthen its administrative operations – including its efficiency and transparency – through technical assistance focused on development/enhancement of standard operating procedures, an administrative information technology system, and professional capacity building.

Justice Integration

  • INL is supporting coordination and cooperation among police, courts, and prisons through assistance in the development of uniform procedures and a criminal records database.

Major Crimes Task Force

  • Iraq’s Major Crimes Task Force (MCTF) is a specially selected group of Iraqi investigators who investigate public corruption and high-profile, complex crimes such as kidnapping and politically-motivated murders. INL funds the Department of Justice to provide, and logistically supports, approximately a dozen U.S. federal agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administrations, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and U.S. Marshals Service who train and mentor the MCTF.

Anti-Corruption Program

  • INL is currently funding the deployment of contracted Department of Justice advisors who are providing technical assistance and training related to investigations and management for Iraq’s Commission on Integrity (COI).

INL Corrections Program

Mission Statement

  • To assist the Iraqi Corrections Service with developing its capacities to operate a prison system that is safe, secure, and humane.
  • INL has two related projects supporting this mission.
Advisory Assistance
  • INL funds up to 80 Department of Justice (DOJ) contracted correctional advisors and 3 DOJ Program Management staff members to train, mentor, and advise personnel at all levels of the Iraqi Corrections Service.
Prison Construction
  • INL, through an interagency agreement with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, is constructing approximately 8,500 new prison beds in Iraq to alleviate serious overcrowding concerns and enhance security.

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