A U.S. project to turn the Baghdad Police College into the crown jewel of Middle Eastern law enforcement academies is such a mess that parts of it face demolition and the sprawling facility may be forced to shut down in two weeks, an American adviser in Iraq tells the Boston Herald. The crumbling academy, which was supposed to be finished this summer, is emblematic of a widespread failure to bring basic civil order to Iraq through stable public safety and justice institutions. It's a goal to which the U.S. has committed more tax dollars – $15 billion so far – than any other aspect of Iraqi reconstruction.
“The argument could be made that we already have paid for our mistakes in blood and in money,” said Gerald Burke, a former Massachusetts State Police major and Babson College law enforcement instructor who spent 25 months trying to train Iraqis in rudimentary law-and-order skills. “The reality is we and the Iraqis will probably pay far more.” Burke and the adviser in Iraq describe a , which began in 2004, has all but imploded. Burke and the adviser describe a police college compound where urine and feces cascade from ceilings through burst pipes, floors sink and buckle, basic services such as food, laundry, ventilation and electricity are inoperative, and even fresh water is unavailable for days on end. Iraqi contractors were supposed to fix the problems at the 40-building site by now, but the disastrous conditions remain, said the adviser. The project, a target of insurgents, is estimated to cost $50 to $75 million.