Opening Statement of Congressman Todd Akin

May 23, 2007
Press Release

Contact: Josh Holly; 202.226.3988

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), senior Republican on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, today released the following opening statement for the subcommittee’s hearing on the training and development of the Iraqi Police Service:

“Over the course of this investigation it has become increasingly apparent that the Iraqi Police Service (IPS)—though nominally part of the Iraqi Security Forces—is really a unique organization that requires its own analysis and discussion separate from the Iraqi Army and National Police.   

“Despite being critical to our effort in Iraq and the fact that nearly half of the security forces we've trained belong to the Iraqi Police Services, it's been remarkably difficult to get information about the efforts of the Police Transition Teams (PTT).  Along that vein, I want to thank the Department for supporting this important hearing.

“If defeating sectarianism and marginalizing militias are paramount to success in Iraq then an Iraqi Police Service that ensures law and order and has the respect and trust of their communities is absolutely required.  A community that relies upon the IPS for safety is a community that will not turn to the militias.

“This seems to me the strategic framework for prioritizing our police training effort. 

“The Police Transition Teams are an essential piece of the effort to execute this strategy. I'm looking forward to hearing from our witnesses about their experiences as members of PTTs. 

“Some of the issues I'd like the witnesses to touch on are:

  1. “The competency of the police stations your PTT worked with and the extent the Ministry of Interior involved itself in the work of these police stations;
  2. “Whether the IPS you worked with were able to carry out normal law and order police work or if they were forced to support counterinsurgency operations;
  3. “The extent of militia infiltration in the police stations you oversaw; and
  4. “How the chain of command supported your efforts.

“Once again to our witnesses, thank you for being here today.”