One of the major challenges in the reconstruction of a sovereign and viable Iraq has been ensuring the security of Iraq’s citizens. With suicide bombings taking a heavy toll on Iraqis citizens as well as American soldiers, crime on the rise and armed militias effectively wielding power in parts of the country, the new government has struggled to reshape its national security institutions to deal with these challenges.
All three of our speakers recently returned from Iraq where they held key posts in the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) tasked with rebuilding Iraq’s national security institutions. Their experiences give them unique insights into the challenges and successes of rebuilding Iraq’s defense structure. Major General Paul Eaton served as the commander of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team, helping to rebuild and train the Iraqi army and police forces. Fred Smith worked as a senior advisor to the CPA, focusing on building the civilian structure of the new Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Peter Khalil served as the director of national security policy for the CPA; he will share his insight on the how the security infrastructure will impact the political transition process and the upcoming Iraqi elections.
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