NIE: Violence To 'Remain High' In Iraq Over Next 'Six To Twelve Months'
The polarization of communities is most evident in Baghdad, where the Shia are a clear majority in more than half of all neighborhoods and Sunni areas have become surrounded by predominately Shia districts. Where population displacements have led to significant sectarian separation, conflict levels have diminished to some extent because warring communities find it more difficult to penetrate communal enclaves.
[L]evels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high [over next six to 12 months] and the Iraqi Government will continue to struggle to achieve national-level political reconciliation and improved governance.
The Iraqi Government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition, Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish parties. The strains of the security situation and absence of key leaders have stalled internal political debates, slowed national decisionmaking, and increased Maliki's vulnerability to alternative coalitions
Population displacement resulting from sectarian violence continues, imposing burdens on provincial governments and some neighboring states and increasing the danger of destabilizing influences spreading across Iraq's borders over the next six to 12 months.