On the sectarian divide, militia forces and powerful Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr
The Sectarian Divide - U.S. Security Adviser's Memo
This is the blunt November 2006 memo, later published in The New York Times, that was written by National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley after going to Iraq to evaluate the situation on the ground and meeting with Prime Minister Maliki, Gen. Corelli, and many others. The sectarian divide's potential to derail efforts to save the country from all-out civil war and chaos is the dominant theme throughout Hadley's recommendations.
Arming Our Enemies
Salon's interview with FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith about his reporting for Gangs of Iraq.
Why Iraq Has No Army
James Fallows' bleak assessment, published in The Atlantic in December 2005, of America's effort to "stand up" Iraqi security forces.
Minister of Civil War
An excerpt from Ken Silverstein's August 2006 Harper's Magazine profile of Bayan Jabr, the former Iraqi minister of the interior accused of turning a blind eye to Shi'a death squads infiltrating the ministry.
The Salvadorization of Iraq?
A May 2005 New York Times magazine piece by Peter Maass on his experience out in the field with the "commandos," the elite special police unit in Iraq's Ministry of the Interior.
Badr to Worse
Spencer Ackerman's July 2005 report in The New Republic examining the botched and confused efforts to deal with Iraq's militias.
Sword of the Shia
Newsweek's December 2006 profile of militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the coalition's tactics for dealing with him.
Jon Lee Anderson's account in the May 4, 2004 New Yorker of how two events -- a April 2004 uprising led by Moqtada al-Sadr, and the coalition's assault on Fallujah -- united Sunni and Shi'a against a common enemy: U.S.-led coalition forces.
Army of One
Newsweek's spring 2006 interview with Moqtada al-Sadr, in which he talks about his entry into the political process, and states, "The Mahdi Army is not a militia."
Anatomy of a Civil War
A report by Nir Rosen, on the ground in Iraq with Shi'a militia members and Sunni insurgents, published in the December 2006 Boston Review.