The upcoming National Intelligence Estimate suggests that may be the case, reports McClatchy. Which is not surprising to anyone who's watched what's going on beyond looking at the Bush Administration's rhetoric (the fight for Kirkuk, the dismantling of the Sons of Iraq).
From the report:
The NIE findings parallel a Defense Department assessment last month that warned that despite "promising developments, security gains in Iraq remain fragile. A number of issues have the potential to upset progress."
Trouble spots include whether the former Sunni insurgents, also known as the Sons of Iraq, find permanent employment; provincial elections scheduled for January; Kirkuk's status; the fate of internally displaced people and returning refugees; and "malign Iranian influence," the unclassified Pentagon report said.
The intelligence agencies' estimate also raises worries about what would happen if Sadr, the anti-U.S. cleric, attempts to reassert himself, according to senior intelligence officials familiar with its contents.
If Sadr abandons his cease-fire, it is unclear whether his former followers would rejoin his cause or whether his movement is permanently fractured, and thus harder to control.
The embattled Sons of Iraq program may prove to be the ultimate challenge to sustained stability in Iraq. The U.S. program to pay mostly Sunni former insurgents to protect their neighborhoods or in some cases to stop shooting at Americans is now moving into the hands of the Shiite-led government.
Many of the roughly 100,000 men of the mostly Sunni paramilitary groups have fled to Syria, while others remain in Iraq, worried that the Shiite government will disband and detain the men. The U.S. military has promised not to abandon the men, of whom about 54,000 were transferred to Iraqi government control this month.