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US Intel Report: Iraq Risks Further Deterioration
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A latest US intelligence report reveals a growing dangerous situation in Iraq, which is nearly out of US control and risks further deterioration, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Still, the long-awaited National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq, which was presented to US President George W. Bush by the intelligence community on Thursday, made no conclusion and holds out prospects of improvement, according to the report.

However, it couches optimism in deep uncertainty about whether Iraqi leaders will be able to transcend sectarian interests and fight against extremists, establish effective national institutions and end rampant corruption.

The document said that although al Qaida remains a problem in Iraq, it has been surpassed by Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence as the primary source of conflict and the most immediate threat to US goals.

Iran, which the administration has charged with supplying and directing Iraqi extremists, is mentioned but is not a focus.

Completion of the estimate, which projects events in Iraq over the next 18 months, comes amid intensifying debate and skepticism among US lawmakers about Bush's war policy.

In a series of contentious hearings over the past two weeks, legislators have sharply questioned the president's new plan for the deployment of 21,500 additional US troops and the administration's dependence on the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2007)


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