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Pentagon says Iraq strife has worsened

Three days after Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence, declared that Iraq was heading along a difficult path to a “secure new future”, a Pentagon report presented to Congress said sectarian violence had worsened over the past three months, creating the most complex security challenge since the 2003 invasion.

The report, mandated by Congress each quarter, was likely to add to growing calls for Mr Rumsfeld to resign.

Democrats in Congress said the report showed that Mr Rumsfeld and the administration leadership were disconnected from reality.

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