Ivil-say Ar-way

The Pentagon goes right up to the line, then balks at describing the continued violence in Iraq as a Civil War.

A Pentagon report released on Wednesday said a struggle for power among sectarian groups is now the main feature of the war, and said violence reached a new high in early 2007, although the figures were compiled before the crackdown began on February 14.


In a quarterly report on Iraq to the U.S. Congress, the Pentagon said: “The conflict in Iraq has changed from a predominantly Sunni-led insurgency against foreign occupation to a struggle for the division of political and economic influence among sectarian groups and organized criminal activity.”

Citing the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq from January, the report said the term “civil war” did not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict but did apply to some elements of the struggle.