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New DOD Report Cites Setbacks: The Pentagon has released its latest report for Congress on the status of US military endeavors in Iraq, noting that “sectarian tensions increased over the past quarter.” The weekly average of attacks increased 15 percent over the previous quarter, and, even more staggering, the 63-page report cites a 51 percent increase in Iraqi casualties, compared to the previous quarter. The Pentagon says that although “sectarian violence threatens the effectiveness” of the Iraqi government, “terrorists have failed to derail Iraq’s political process or to widen their political support among the Iraqi people.” The report goes on to say: “Sustained ethno-sectarian violence is the greatest threat to security and stability in Iraq. Breaking this cycle of violence is the most pressing immediate goal of coalition and Iraqi operations.” This last quote appears under the subhead “Concerns of Civil War.”