Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Iraq on brink of disintegration: think-tank

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq faces "complete disintegration into failed state chaos" a respected think-tank has warned, urging the United States to adopt a radical change of strategy to end the crisis.

The stark analysis from the International Crisis Group came as a Pentagon report confirmed that violence in Iraq has hit record levels and two weeks after a bipartisan US panel branded the situation "grave and deteriorating."

The ICG's new report endorsed the Iraq Study Group's criticisms of White House strategy, but warned the recommendations of former secretary of state James Baker's panel would not be enough to stem the bloodshed.

In particular, the Crisis Group criticised the US insistence on supporting Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition government, and called instead for the international community to open talks with all Iraq's warring parties.

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