The U.S. Defense Department says the number of Iraqi security forces capable of battling insurgents has increased, but that none are able to fight without U.S. assistance.
The assessment came Friday in the Pentagon's quarterly report to Congress on the situation in Iraq.
The Pentagon says the number of Iraqi battalions capable of leading the battle, with U.S. troops in a supporting role, has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last three months (from 36 units to 53), with the number actually engaged in combat up 11 percent.
But Pentagon officials say the number of battalions able to operate without U.S. help has fallen to zero. Last year, three battalions were said to be able to fight independently.
The Pentagon downplayed the significance of the development, saying it is more concerned with creating large numbers of Iraqi battalions.
Pentagon leaders have pegged future U.S. troop withdrawals to the ability of Iraqi forces to assume responsibility for security.