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Rebuilding Iraq's Army

Before the war in Iraq, the Pentagon assumed that much of the Iraqi army would survive the conflict and would help with postwar reconstruction. U.S. military planners hoped that surviving Iraqi forces would form the basis of a new national army, which would stabilize the country and protect it from outside aggression. But the war did such damage to the Iraqi military that U.S. occupation authorities have little to work with as they try to reconstitute an army. In addition, they have to contend with a demoralized officer corps and ethnic and religious differences in the ranks. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.

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Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.
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