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Examining Roadblocks to Law Enforcement in Iraq

In a small morgue on the outskirts of Baghdad, the refrigerator doors are constantly opened to take in more of the dead. Endless regulations, a lack of trained personnel and a fear of militias are some of the many reasons that it's hard to investigate these deaths.

American authorities have declared this to be "the year of the police," and they hope that more of the country can be turned over to civil, rather than military, authorities. The challenges are daunting. The legal system is overwhelmed. And in one Iraqi police unit, American advisers are struggling to get Iraqi criminal investigators to change their way of doing business.

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Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.