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Intelligence Analysis: The CIA in Desert Storm

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Here's another article that deserves its own post. Richard L. Russell examines the strengths and weaknesses of American intelligence during the Gulf War in gauging Iraqi political intentions and military capabilities. He finds that overall strategic intelligence served policy makers well, but that some shortcomings, particularly in human intelligence collection, need to be corrected if the United States is to successfully deal with Iraq in the post-September 11 world.

The whole 18 page .PDF document is available free via Political Science Quarterly, but if that doesn't work you can also download it here.

Or, perhaps you'd rather just get a summary? David Broder's write-up in the Seattle Times fits the bill. One passage from the report itself that's especially worth noting, however:

"[post Desert Storm] The GWAPS assessed that Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was fiscally unconstrained, closer to fielding a nuclear weapon, and less vulnerable to destruction by precision bombing than U.S. intelligence realized before the war."
Once again, we have worrying signs but current intelligence would appear to be lacking. If anything, our past failures in this area should increase the perceived risk of a "do nothing" scenario.

You want a catchy bumper sticker anthem for the war? How about "Iraq: We Won't Get Fooled Again!"

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