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Sharing Power in Fallujah

Constituents come and go outside the mayor's office in Fallujah.
Charlie Mayer, NPR News /
Constituents come and go outside the mayor's office in Fallujah.

As security problems continue in Iraq, towns and cities across the country are struggling to get local governments back on their feet. One case is in the town of Fallujah, a turbulent Sunni city west of Baghdad that's seen sometimes violent anti-American demonstrations. The mayor there is working closely with a young American officer and his team to try to restore a semblance of functioning government.

As NPR's Eric Westervelt reports, because the Fallujah government has no money of its own, the city's budget consists of what U.S. Army officials can cull from the U.S. coalition provisional authority in Baghdad or their own discretionary fund. So the real power in the city rests with John Ives, a 27-year-old U.S. Army captain, who must wrestle with the cultural differences between American forces and local Iraqi officials.

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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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