US intelligence agencies have written a mixed report on Iraq, finding some progress but judging that the Baghdad government may not be able to carry it forward, a defence official said today.
Declassified portions of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq are to be released later today.
Like an earlier report released in February, the document is expected to cover the pressing issues facing Iraq: its ethnic and sectarian strife, the troubles of the elected government, and the meddling of neighbouring Iran.
The defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss the report on the record, said it will find “some progress with Sunnis” fighting against al-Qaida.
Sunni insurgents in some areas have turned on al Qaida in a programme in which US commanders negotiate ceasefires and try to incorporate the fighters into Iraqi government security forces.
The report also warns, as some commanders on the ground have, that extremists could attempt sensational attacks to create a “mini-Tet”-- a reference to the 1968 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Tet offensive that undermined public support for the Vietnam War in the United States.