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US Intelligence Report Says Iraqi Government 'Precarious'

A new report by U.S. intelligence agencies says Iraq's security situation has improved, but the Iraqi government is still unable to govern effectively.

U.S. officials released a summary Thursday of the National Intelligence Estimate on stability in Iraq.  The report says there has been "measurable, but uneven" improvement in Iraq's security situation since the beginning of the year.  However, it also says insurgent and sectarian violence continues at a high level.

Iraqi forces cannot cope with the violence, the report says, without continuing assistance from U.S. troops.

The intelligence report says Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government has been unable to achieve political reconciliation between rival sectarian factions.  This, it says, indicates "precarious" stability for Mr. Maliki's team over the next six to 12 months.

Only a summary of the National Intelligence Estimate has been released, with the full report remaining classified.  It is based on information from the United States' 16 intelligence agencies.

The details made public Thursday are in advance of a full report on U.S. progress in Iraq, which Mr. Bush is to send to Congress next month.  American lawmakers have demanded that Iraq meet certain benchmarks in exchange for continued funding of the war.

Some information for this report was provided by AP .

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