OVERVIEW: SECULAR GROUPS
Most of the secular or nationalist figures seeking political power in Iraq represent groups that have existed in exile for many years.
Some of the groups coming in from outside Iraq have the double disadvantage of having little support in the country and being seen as American placemen.
Regime change in Iraq has included the dismantling of the Baath Party, the political instrument of Saddam Hussein's rule.
Under the old regime the party, its bureaucracy and security apparatus, penetrated very deeply into the lives of Iraqis. It was essential to be a party member to get on in any official capacity.
In many parts of Iraq, former Baath Party officials and members are taking leading roles in the administration the US and British forces are attempting to establish.
The Coalition Provisional Authority believes that armed elements of the old regime are still active in Iraq and are, in large part, leading the attacks against US and UK forces.