Regime change in Iraq has included the destruction of the Baath Party, the political instrument of Saddam Hussein's rule.
It was essential to be a party member to get on in any official capacity in Iraq under the old regime, and the party ran neighbourhood spy cells as feared as the security services.
However, in many cities former Baath Party officials are taking leading roles in the administration that the US and British forces are attempting to establish.
It is mainly the middle and lower ranks of officials who are taking up where they left off under the old regime, but there are reports that senior bureaucrats and ministers at the oil and health ministries have been offered their jobs back by the US military.
In Baghdad and Basra, thousands of policemen under the old regime have been recruited for the new police forces, and have been going out on joint patrols with coalition troops.
For many middle-class Sunni Iraqis, the chaos and looting that followed the US invasion and the new political assertiveness of Shia Muslims makes the relative order and security that the old administration offered very attractive.
Much of the armed resistance to the US and UK occupation of Iraq has been blamed on former Baathists. There is some evidence that Saddam Hussein made plans to make the occupation of the country he once ruled as painful as possible for its invaders.