“MORE PRECARIOUS”….The Associated Press has gotten hold of a copy of the intelligence community’s latest assessment of Iraq. Here’s the highlight:
The report predicts that the Iraqi government “will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months” because of criticism from members of Iraqi Shiite parties, Iraq’s top Shiite religious figure Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish factions.
The assessment also expresses deep doubts that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki can overcome sectarian divisions and meet benchmarks intended to promote political unity. It finds that Shiite factions have looked at ways to constrain him.
In other words, surge or no surge, our intelligence community is already predicting that things will get worse over the next year.
Needless to say, this will be used as evidence that we need to stick around. Can’t leave while the country is unraveling! If things were getting better, of course, that too would be used as evidence that we need to stick around. Can’t leave when we’re right on the verge of victory! And what if things weren’t getting better or worse? Do I need to tell you?
UPDATE: The full report is here.