An exit strategy, the report said, would also be complicated by differing visions for a post-Saddam Iraq among those involved in the conflict. were to establish a transitional government, it would likely encounter difficulty, some groups discussed, from a "period of widespread bloodshed in which various factions seek to eliminate their enemies." The report stressed that the creation of a democratic government in Iraq was not feasible, but a new pluralistic Iraqi government which included nationalist leaders might be possible, suggesting that nationalist leaders were a stabilizing force. They list steps Defense Department officials believed could lead to the collapse of the Iraqi government, and reflect elements of an existing plan developed with and for the Iraqi National Congress, including seizure of Iraq's oil fields, protection of a provisional government, transfer of frozen Iraqi assets to said government, giving it Iraq's oil revenues, and regime change.
The Desert Crossing report was similarly pessimistic when discussing the nature of a new Iraqi government. The notes list some triggers the administration could use to initiate war, including Iraqi military actions against the U.
"These dozen documents provide essential reading for anyone trying to understand the Iraq war," remarked Joyce Battle, Archive senior analyst who is compiling a definitive reference collection of declassified documents on the Iraq War.
"At a moment when the public is debating the costs and consequences of the U. invasion, these primary sources refresh the memory and ground the discussion with contemporary evidence." A decade after the U. invasion of Iraq (March 19, 2003), the debate continues over whether the United States truly believed that Iraq's supposed WMD capabilities posed an imminent danger, and whether the results of the engagement have been worth the high costs to both countries. The CIA leadership participated with evident eagerness, providing Congress and the public with glossy illustrated reports hyping the Iraqi threat and abandoning all standards of prudence in its characterizations of the alleged Iraqi threat.
The Senate Intelligence Committee report also posted here contains a harsh critique of the intelligence community's assessments on Iraq.
In addition, the committee pointed out the CIA's troubling decision to heavily redact the NIE including withholding embarrassing topics such as the ways the initial public portions of the estimate sharply misrepresented the intelligence community's views by deleting caveats, hedged language and dissents in the underlying intelligence.Reportedly intended for President Bush, this one itemizes 29 potentially negative outcomes, several of which were highly prescient and show that top U. officials were aware of the serious risks involved when they made the decision to go forward with Operation Iraqi Freedom.For example, item 13 says, "US could fail to find WMD on the ground in Iraq and be unpersuasive to the world." Item 14 reads, "There could be higher than expected collateral damage - Iraqi civilian deaths." Point 17 notes that "US could fail to manage post-Saddam Hussein Iraq successfully ..." while #19 predicts that "Rather than having the post-Saddam effort require 2 to 4 years, it could take 8 to 10 years, thereby absorbing US leadership, military and financial resources." Document 8: State Department, "The Future of Iraq Project," Oil and Energy section, April 20, 2003. government planning efforts for raising Iraq out of the ashes of combat and establishing a functioning democracy.This set of slides shows the administration's optimism about its ability to achieve its objectives in Iraq: Phase IV, a term used for post-invasion operations, was, according to this set of slides, expected to last some three to four years as the U. Document 6a: Director of Central Intelligence, National Intelligence Estimate, , October 2002. Source: CIA public release Document 6c: United States Senate, Select Committee on Intelligence Report on the U. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. Source: SSCI There have been three separate releases of the famous October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on . In addition, it was judged that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program and, if left unchecked, would probably have a nuclear weapon before the end of the decade – assuming it had to produce the fissile material indigenously.The NIE concluded that Iraq continued its weapons of mass destruction programs despite U. resolutions and sanctions and that it was in possession of chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges exceeding U. If Iraq could acquire sufficient fissile material from abroad it could construct a nuclear weapon within several months to a year, the estimate reported. The released key judgments section is also notable for its reporting of dissents within the Intelligence Community on two related issues – when Iraq could acquire a nuclear weapon, and its motive in seeking to obtain high-strength aluminum tubes.Document 4: United Kingdom, Matthew Rycroft, Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Cabinet Minutes of Discussion, S 195/02, July 23, 2002 Source: Printed in The Sunday Times, May 1, 2005, Downing Street Documents These notes offer insight into the attitude of the Bush administration toward regime change, the U. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, noting "the case was thin," argued for enlisting U. Secretary of State Colin Powell to persuade President Bush to back U. inspections, but he warned, "It seemed clear that Bush has made up his mind to take military action." Document 5: U. A series of declassified briefing slides document these planning revisions.Rumsfeld wanted the Iraq invasion to be an exemplar of modern technological warfare, so the troop levels recommended by planners for a successful invasion were downgraded over time during the planning phase in accordance with the secretary's philosophy.Hear from Dean Diane Gayeski about how the Park School drives the future of media.Whether you like to be in front of the camera or behind the scenes-- or whether you have a passion for investigating the news or love creating fictional story worlds or clever ads, Park has a place for you.Document 7: Donald Rumsfeld, Snowflake, "An Illustrative List of Potential Problems to Be Considered and Addressed," ("Parade of Horribles"), October 15, 2002 Source: The Rumsfeld Papers Donald Rumsfeld wrote this list of setbacks to be anticipated from an Iraq invasion in the midst of the administration's deliberations over whether to attack Iraq.The document is a so-called "snowflake," one of a "blizzard" of short memos - some just a few words in length - that Rumsfeld sent to colleagues and subordinates in the government during his tenure at the Pentagon.