SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 10, Issue 1 - Page 8

new Panama National Police (PNP) personnel became available, the U.S. military began to conduct joint patrols with them. At first the U.S. Army personnel were mostly general-purpose forces (GPF), and included a minority of MPs and reservists/ National Guard who were police in civilian life. [However] the GPF were untrained for the tasks of either providing law and order or partnering with local forces. (Jayamaha, p. 22) For some units, the adjustment from warrior to police officer or mayor caused serious problems, especially when restrictive rules of engagement (ROE) for combat were replaced by even more highly restrictive ROE for the stability operations that followed.… That most U.S. combat units had not been prepared to conduct stability operations was seen as a shortcoming in the planning and preparation for the invasion… (Yates, p. 51) Concurrent with the joint patrolling, the U.S. military established the U.S. Forces Liaison Group (USFLG) and Judicial Liaison Group (JLG) to take on the work of training and setting up a new host nation police force and judicial system (i.e., “reestablish host nation law enforcement capacity”). The [selected] option was to use the former PDF members to reconstitute the police force. This would allow for a Panamanian force to quickly restore order and allow the U.S. forces to assume a secondary, less visible role in Panamanian internal affairs. … The new Endara government in concert with the U.S. mentors agreed that with proper screening the PDF could be used as a basis from which the new police force would be created. (Conley, pp. 32-33) The U.S. Forces Liaison Group (USFLG) assisted the Panamanian government in setting up the Panamanian Fuerza Publica (Public Force) and oversaw its division into the PNP, air service and maritime service, investigative arm, immigration service, port police, presidential guard, and prison guards. The USFLG ensured that the Public Force began to deploy vetted forces by the end of January 1990. … one of the USFLG’s first activities under its key task of addressing enforcement and maintenance of law and order was to develop a basic 20-hour curriculum for a transition training course for the HN forces, … The development of the course by the USFLG was not ideal, but the staff found reservists who were police officers in their civilian lives to help shape it. As a means of reconstituting the PNP, [SOUTHCOM’s] Military Support Group (MSG) used MPs to administer the 20-hour basic police training course to PNP personnel. [However] In February 1990, Congress invoked the Section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961 which limits U.S. assistance for the training of foreign police, causing the military to curtail the training of the PNP. The U.S. military continued to mentor the PNP under an FAA Section 660 provision that permitted the use of residual security assistance funds to equip a police force. The MSG was left in a difficult situation – with no civilians to transition the mission to and restricted authority for providing direct support to police efforts in Panama, the urgency to find a civilian answer increased. The DoS [then] approached the [DoJ’s] ICITAP to advise and support the transition of the former PDF into the new PNP. …[and] the ICITAP’s role was broadened through a special congres- sional authorization in February 1990, allowing the agency to implement a comprehensive reconstitution and training program for the PNP. (Jayamaha pp. 23-25) The USG’s work of reestablishing host nation law enforcement capacity thus went under civilian leadership. The DoJ’s ICITAP implemented the “reconstitution and training program” Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 7 of 36