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Iraqi security forces fall short

Khalid al-Mashhidani’s experiences with Iraqi security forces have been so bad that he says the least of his concerns is the day they broke into his house, damaged much of his furniture, set fire to his garden, and stole $40,000 in cash along with some gold he kept in the house.

Mr. Mashidani lives about 10 miles from the Taji prison that militants raided in late July. In the weeks after the raid, security forces searched the area for escapees and accomplices. Mashidani says the damage and alleged theft occurred during these searches while his family was not at home.

“I couldn’t do anything at that moment,” he says, describing how he felt upon seeing his house after the search. “I just looked at my damaged house and took a deep breath.”

Mashidani is one of many Iraqis who has suffered a near total loss of faith in Iraqi security forces. The US spent tens of billions of dollars during its time in Iraq trying to develop a capable security force that could create and maintain stability. But 10 years after the American invasion, Iraqis say they’ve been left with a security force not only incapable of providing security but also prone to corruption and extortion.

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