"Our security forces will be capable of taking over the security portfolio in all Iraqi provinces within one year and a half."
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki
A few weeks after forming a government, Iraq's new prime minister stresses on multiple occasions that he believes the country's security forces will be able to keep the peace on their own by the end of 2007. Later in the year he moves the date up to June of 2007. Though greeted with skepticism from many observers, Maliki's embrace of a firm timeline is welcomed by the Bush Administration, which uses the commitment to counter charges that it has no intention of scaling back its heavy presence in Iraq. At the same time, Washington continues to express frustration that Maliki is not doing enough to rein in Shi'ite militias that are contributing to the violence in Baghdad and beyond.