On a busy commercial strip, U.S. soldiers cajole a ragged band of reluctant Iraqi army recruits to take charge of their own streets. In the highest corridors of power, U.S. officials press Iraqi politicians to meet political deadlines. A year after occupation authority head L. Paul Bremer III handed the formal reins to an appointed Iraqi government, private military firms contracted by the Pentagon continue to wield guns with scant regard for Iraqi authorities. But long gone are the days when U.S. and British officials of Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority controlled all aspects of the Iraqi state. Ministries that oversee Iraq’s natural resources, energy reserves, schools, hospitals and finances have evolved over the last year into vigorous players in Iraq’s daily life. And elected Iraqi politicians are devising their own constitution with little direct involvement by U.S. officials. Full Story
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