Thursday, December 09, 2004

Iraq faces descent into chaos, says CIA chief

Iraq faces descent into chaos, says CIA chief

Report leaked as 1,000th US soldier dies in action

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Wednesday December 8, 2004
The Guardian

The Bush administration's robust assertions that the situation in Iraq would improve with next month's elections were badly shaken yesterday with the leak of a gloomy end-of-tour cable from the departing CIA station chief in Baghdad.

The bleak assessment, reported in yesterday's New York Times, warned that Iraq would descend even deeper into violent chaos unless the government was able to assert its authority and deliver concrete economic improvements.

It arrived on a day when US forces recorded the death of the 1,000th soldier to be killed in combat since the beginning of the war.

In all, 1,275 US service personnel have died since the invasion on March 20 last year. This figure includes accidents, suicides and other deaths not classed as killed in action. A total of 9,765 US troops have been wounded.



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