The Bush administration plans to shut down a highly successful Iraqi police academy in Jordan even as security in Iraq worsens, the Daily News has learned.
The Jordan International Police Training Center near Amman will stop training Iraqi police recruits this year, having already graduated 40,000 cops from its eight-week course since 2004, U.S. officials confirmed.
"The word we have is that JIPTC completes its mission on Dec. 31, and we are proceeding on that basis," said academy spokesman Iver Peterson.
President Bush has said American troops can come home from Iraq when Iraqi forces can secure their own country.
The $120 million Jordan academy is safe and has police trainers from 15 nations. It graduates a staggering 1,800 Iraqi cops and border guards each month. Fewer than 4% have washed out.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) expressed shock when told by The News that the facility will soon close.
"It is mystifying and maddening that they would shut this down while violence in Iraq is spiraling out of control and in the face of an urgent shortage of trained police officers," said Leahy, ranking Democrat on the Senate subcommittee overseeing Iraq reconstruction funding.
[b]The Jordan academy is located on a sprawling 560 acres, with firing lines, indoor firing ranges, areas where cadets learn to defuse bombs and a mess hall dishing up 12,000 meals a day.
But State Department officials who run the Pentagon-funded academy said Iraqi authorities want all training shifted to eight regional academies in Iraq, including Baghdad Police College - which has to be rebuilt because of bungled construction
Did Halliburton build this and now, does Halliburton get to build it....again?