Matthew Sherman worked for more than three years as a civilian official in Iraq, including as a deputy senior adviser and director of policy with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior and the political adviser to the First Cavalry Division, the American military unit in charge of operations throughout Baghdad. Prior to his appointment to Iraq, Sherman had foreign assignments with the U.S. Department of State in Bosnia, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Ukraine and Moldova, where he served as an election security planner and an international monitor. Most recently, he worked as a principal with SCI Consulting, a senior adviser with the Scowcroft Group, and an adjunct with the RAND Corporation. Sherman received his bachelor's and juris doctor degrees from the University of North Carolina and a master of philosophy degree in international relations from Cambridge University.
Date of Interview:
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Matthew Sherman, former deputy senior adviser and director of policy with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, discusses the creation and operations of domestic security forces in Iraq. He discusses the challenges of building domestic policing capacity, including in effectively vetting new recruits and ensuring adequate and uniform training and resources. The design of the political system, he notes, has an important bearing on the development of security forces. Decentralization policies, for instance, may change the make-up of local security forces. Sherman remarks that effective security forces development requires building trust and continuity in the political system. Lack of continuity, such as he encountered in Iraq, made it difficult to implement sustainable changes. Other challenges in building domestic police capacity included the politicization of police training programs and trying to prevent rogue elements from infiltrating or shaping the security forces. Sherman concludes by stating that developing quality police capacity, including building adequate mid and senior level capacity, takes time and quantity should not come at the expense of quality.
Matthew Sherman - Full Interview
Nationality of Interviewee:
non-state security actors
local police training