The Interior Ministry's Role in Security Sector Reform

In international peace and stability operations, reform of the interior ministry and the police forces under its control is critical to success. This is also an essential element in reforming the wider security sector, which includes the defense ministry and military forces. Yet surprisingly little has been written on the subject, and efforts to reform the interior ministries in Iraq and Afghanistan were done only on an ad-hoc basis. This report explains the role of the interior ministry, the needed steps in ministerial reform, and the role of foreign advisers in this process. It then describes the consequences of the U.S. failure to reform the interior ministry in Iraq and recommends changes in infrastructure and staffing that would enable the United States to conduct better ministerial reform in future operations.

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