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Ministry of Interior (Iraq): Wikis


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The Ministry of Interior of Iraq handles policing and border control in Iraq.[1] The MoI consists of several elements, including the Police Service, Highway Patrol, Traffic Department, Emergency Response Unit, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, and Department of Border Enforcement. Pending passage of the Facilities Protection Service Reform Law, the Ministry is preparing to absorb FPS personnel currently spread among other ministries.[2] The MoI has approximately 380,430 employees and the Ministry of Finance approved US$3.8 billion for its 2008 budget, representing a 21% growth over the previous year.[3]

Under President Saddam Hussein, the Ministry contained a wide range of administrative functions, including keeping Iraq free of Hussein's enemies and other "undesirables".[1] After the United States toppled Hussein in the Iraq War, the Ministry was not dissolved, unlike the defense and intelligence agencies. The Multinational Force intended to hand over policing and internal security duties as soon as possible.[1] However, the Ministry was merely restructured.[1]


Federal Police (FP)

The Federal Police (FP), sometimes called the National Police, is a paramilitary gendarmerie type force designed to bridge the gap between local policing and the army, allowing the MOI to project power across provinces and maintain law and order while an effective community police is developed. Although called police, the force has been trained primarily for military operations.

Because of frequent allegations of abuse and other illegal activities, the government of Iraq decided in the fall of 2006 to reform and retrain all FP units. The FP transformation will yield a police organization capable of performing criminal investigations as well as tactical operations. The transformation includes a reorganization that resulted in replacement of two division headquarters with a federal police headquarters.[4]

FP units are equipped with small arms, machine guns, pick-up trucks and SUVs. The mechanized battalions are equipped with light armored vehicles.[4]

Department of Border Enforcement (DBE)

Mashan border fort in Sulaminiyah, Iraq.

Iraq's borders are controlled by the Department of Border Enforcement (DBE) and the Department of Ports of Entry (POE) collectively. The DBE mans 405 border structures. There are 14 land points of entry. As of November 2006, there were 28,300 DBE personnel trained, organized into 5 regions, 12 brigades and 38 battalions. Force generation and equipment goals are on schedule for completion by December 2006.[4]

Facilities Protection Service

The Facilities Protection Service has more than 150,000 personnel who work for 26 ministries and eight independent directorates. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some of them are unreliable and responsible for violent crimes. PM Maliki has announced a reform to consolidate all Facilities Protection Service personnel into a unified organization responsible to the MOI. As of December 2005, the Coalition no longer provides material or logisitcal support to the FPS.[4]

Special Police Commandos

The Special Police Commandos were an elite counter-insurgency unit answering to the Ministry of the Interior.[5]

The unit was "formed" (or at least publicly revealed) in September 2004 and numbers about 5,000 officers. Its Iraqi commander is Sunni General Adnan Thabit, and its principal U.S. advisor (Counselor) is Colonel James Steele, who also commanded the U.S. Military Advisory Group in El Salvador from 1984 through 1986.

The Special Police Commandos appear to have been merged into the Iraqi Special Operations Forces of the Counter-Terrorism Bureau.


  1. ^ a b c d Rathmell, Andrew. Developing Iraq's security sector: the coalition provisional authority's experience. Rand Corporation. pp. 42–45. ISBN 0833038230.  
  2. ^ “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq,” March 2008 Report to Congress in accordance with the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 2008 (Section 9010, Public Law 109-289).
  3. ^ Ibid, page 37.
  4. ^ a b c d Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq, November 2006
  5. ^ Iraq 'death squad caught in act', - Q&A on Iraq's militias, - Max Fuller, For Iraq, "The Salvador Option" Becomes Reality and - Guy Calaf, Iraqi Special Police Commandos

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