The National Intelligence Estimate is the official assessment by all 16 of the United States' spy agencies of what is happening in Iraq. NBC assigned State Department correspondent Andrea Mitchell to summarize the report. She pointed out that "the administration now admits that sectarian violence is deadlier than attacks from al-Qaeda" and that "the term 'civil war' accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict." CBS used David Martin from the Pentagon. He downplayed the threat from Teheran: "The report makes clear that Iran is not what is wrong with Iraq." The Baghdad regime is so vulnerable that an "assassination of a major political or religious leader could trigger the government's death throes." Concluded Martin: "The US is closer to failure than it is to success."
ABC settled for a q-&-a session with its Pentagon man Jonathan Karl (no link). He said "this sounds worse than civil war because you have at least four different wars raging" in Iraq: a Sunni-Shiite conflict, internal violence inside each ethnic group, the fight against al-Qaeda, and criminal gang violence.
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