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Labor Iraq policy at risk as US considers dow -

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TONY JONES: There are questions tonight over the Federal Opposition's proposal for an Australian
withdrawal from Iraq. Kevin Rudd says as part of the pull out, a Labor Government would support the
training of Iraqi police at a US backed academy in neighbouring Jordan. But the ABC has learnt that
Washington may soon shut that training centre down. Middle East correspondent David Hardaker
reports from Amman.

DAVID HARDAKER, MIDDLE EAST CORRESPONDENT: Australia has been one of dozens of countries to support
the Jordan International Police Training Centre. 50,000 Iraqi recruits have been trained here since
it started just over three years ago. The aim was to set up a new Iraqi police force from scratch.
As part of his plan to support Iraq after withdrawing Australian combat forces, Kevin Rudd has
promised to use the US backed facility to train more Iraqis.

KEVIN RUDD, OPPOSITION LEADER: We think this is a practical way of assisting the Iraqis do the job
of internal security.

BILL FLINK, DIRECTOR: Right now we are downsizing.

DAVID HARDAKER: Director Bill Flink is facing the end of the work at this centre. Around 100 Iraqi
police officers, a relative handful, are being trained now but the US Government is on the brink of
stopping its operations here altogether.

BILL FLINK: The United States' State Department is looking at making this a training centre for
police. We're not sure if that mission still exists because the plans change in Washington.

DAVID HARDAKER: US Government officials have been enquiring into the high cost of constructing and
running the Jordan centre - around $750 million to build, among other things, this replica Iraqi
street. The empty training grounds here show that whatever has passed, this centre doesn't have
much of a guaranteed future and it is likely that the work being done here will be transferred to
Baghdad and be run under Iraqi supervision, making it that much harder for any future Labor
Government to deliver on its Jordan training policy.

KEVIN RUDD: If we are elected to government, we'd negotiate that through carefully and
systemically, both with the Americans and with the Iraqis and of course the Jordanians.

ALEXANDER DOWNER, FOREIGN MINISTER: I think their policy is all over the place, so we would expect
the 27th Labor policy to be framed on the back of this news.

DAVID HARDAKER: Labor insists that whatever Washington decides, its Jordan training policy still
stands.