A grim British assessment of Iraq and Sadr braces for conflict.
"The prospect of a low intensity civil war and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy.
"Even the lowered expectation of President Bush for Iraq - a government that can sustain itself, defend itself and govern itself and is an ally in the war on terror - must remain in doubt."
The memo also marks the Mahdi militia as the greatest threat going forward. Thus far, the US has largely avoided direct confrontation with the Shia militias, although that such conflicts have increased over the last month or so. But I want to point out again,
There have been a number of operations, involving U.S. and Iraqi forces, against Mehdi Army leaders this month. The targets, however, have mostly been rogue elements, Shi'ite sources say. Sadr has made no comment publicly on the arrests.