Iraqi politician, was chosen in April by Iraq's Shiite alliance to become prime minister. Parliament approved the nomination in May, and Maliki cobbled together a fragile coalition government. Maliki vowed to increase security and stabilize Iraq by reining in sectarian militias, who along with the Sunni insurgency, have been responsible for the escalating violence. But thus far his efforts have failed; by the end of 2006, attacks against Americans and Iraqis reached a high of about 960 per week. Maliki has distanced himself from the U.S., and some of his moves toward independence, particularly his cozying up to the Iranian government, have angered the Bush administration.