Iraq's Next Fault Line

U.S. officials are worrying about plans to remove former Baathists from Iraqi security positions

The Bush administration has hailed the formation of a new Iraqi government as a major step toward bringing stability to the country. But behind the scenes, some U.S. officials are fretting about Iraqi plans to remove as many as 9,000 members of the country's security, intelligence and police services who have been identified as former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath regime. Such a move could wreck the Iraqi forces that the U.S. has spent two years and $5 billion trying to train, according to U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington. They are also worried that a sweeping de-Baathification order could toss...

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