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CIAO Focus, February 2007:
The National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq



The American intelligence community offered a grim assessment of the deteriorating situation in Iraq in a 90 page report released last week entitled “Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead.”  

In contrast with the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, which boldly (and falsely) asserted that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, the current NIE gloomily predicts that the ongoing cycle of violence and instability will probably continue over the next 18 months.  Its authors also express doubts that the Iraqi leadership will be able do much to mitigate the widening sectarian divisions that are fueling much of the unrest in the country. 

At the same time, the report warns that a sudden redeployment of American forces from Iraq would leave the country open to foreign intervention which would regionalize the conflict resulting in massive civilian casualties and population upheavals.  Unless something is done to reverse the current trends, the authors conclude, security conditions will only get worse.

This month CIAO examines the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq.

From the CIAO Database:

Iraq’s Muqtada Al-Sadr: Spoiler or Stabiliser?

Sistani, the United States and Politics in Iraq. From Quietism to Machiavellianism?

The Economic Costs of the Iraq War: An Appraisal Three Years after the Beginning of the Conflict

The Confused Security Situation in Iraq: Some Less Publicized Units

Iraq's Evolving Insurgency and the Risk of Civil War

Outside Sources:

Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion

The Iraq Study Group Report

National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq: Prospects for Iraq’s Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead

US Department of State: Iraq Update

* Outside links are not maintained. For broken outside links, CIAO recommends the Way Back Machine.