As children across America greedily tore open presents on Christmas day, the Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani announced a grim statistic: 12,000 Iraqi policemen have died since the US-led invasion began in 2003. With the total number of police numbering at approximately 190,000 officers, that means the odds of an Iraqi policeman dying are around 1 in 16.

Despite the odds of dying, joining the police offers a prospect of employment, and according to Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, when we call for new recruits, they come by the hundreds and by the thousands.

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