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State Dept readies for massive Iraq ops

The State Department is racing against an end-of-year deadline to take over Iraq operations from the U.S. military, throwing together buildings and marshaling contractors in its biggest overseas operation since the effort to rebuild Europe after World War II, Mary Beth Sheridan and Dan Zak report for The Washington Post.

Attention in Washington and Baghdad has centered on the number of U.S. troops that could remain in Iraq. But those forces will be dwarfed by an estimated 16,000 civilians under the American ambassador — the size of an Army division.

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