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U.S. Intelligence Says Iraqis Will Press for Withdrawal

The Iraqi government that emerges from elections on Jan. 30 will almost certainly ask the United States to set a specific timetable for withdrawing its troops, according to new American intelligence estimates described by senior administration officials.The reports also warn that the elections will be followed by more violence, including an increased likelihood of clashes between Shiites and Sunnis, possibly even leading to civil war, the officials said. This pessimism is consistent with other assessments over the past six months, including a classified cable sent in November by the Central Intelligence Agency’s departing station chief in Baghdad. But the new assessments, from the C.I.A. and the Defense and State Departments, focus more closely on the aftermath of the election, including its potential implications for American policy, the officials said.Full Story

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