Friday, 25 May 2007

The intelligence community gets it right, but...

...another failure of imagination for the rest of the government (this time on Iraq, before on 9/11).

On a somewhat similar note to the Sadr announcement, US pre-Iraq war intelligence has been releasted today in the form of a Senate report investigating how the United States' excursion in Iraq could have gone so wrong. The report reveals the intelligence assessments predicted that Saddam loyalists would team up with al-Qaeda and other factions to fight the occupation as well as other groups in sectarian violence. The intelligence community also saw the estabilishing of democrasy in Iraq as a difficult goal.

The U.S. intelligence community accurately predicted months before the Iraq war that al-Qaeda would link up with elements from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime and militant Islamists to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. forces in that country, according to a report released today by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Two national intelligence assessments sent to the White House and other senior Bush administration policymakers in January 2003 also predicted that al-Qaeda "would try to take advantage of U.S. attention on postwar Iraq to re-establish its presence in Afghanistan," according to the Senate report.

The long-awaited section of the committee's so-called Phase II report, which covers the pre-war intelligence assessments of what conditions would be like after the conflict in Iraq, also said that Iran would seek to influence a post-war Iraq to protect its own security interests and to demonstrate its importance as a regional actor. The assessments also said that "elements" within the Iranian government might aggressively counter the United States in Iraq by using Shiite and Kurdish contacts "to sow dissent against the U.S. presence and complicate the formation of a new, pro-U.S. Iraqi government."

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