The CIA gave George Bush ample warning about what could happen in Iraq after the destruction of the Hussein regime, and like a drunk driver he sped right through those warnings in his hell-bent rush to war in Iraq as reported by NBC News.
In January 2003, two months before the invasion, the intelligence community's think tank -- the National Intelligence Council -- issued an assessment warning that after Saddam was toppled, there was "a significant chance that domestic groups would engage in violent conflict with each other and that rogue Saddam loyalists would wage guerrilla warfare either by themselves or in alliance with terrorists."
Bush was also warned that invading Iraq would fuel Islamic extremism:
It also warned that "many angry young recruits" would fuel the rank of Islamic extremists and "Iraqi political culture is so imbued with mores (opposed) to the democratic experience ... that it may resist the most rigorous and prolonged democratic tutorials."
The CIA correctly foretold what we are now seeing unfold in Iraq:
The United States will face negative consequences with Iraq, the region and beyond which would include:
- Anarchy and the territorial breakup of Iraq;
- Region-threatening instability in key Arab states;
- A surge of global terrorism against US interests fueled by (militant) Islamism;
- Major oil supply disruptions and severe strains in the Atlantic Alliance.
All of these, except the last, have already occurred. Iraq is largely anarchic with no effective central government or authority. The Kurdish provinces operate as a de-facto independent state with complete autonomy over all areas of government. The southern areas of Iraq, in particular Basra, are also effectively self-governing with little control or interference from Baghdad.
Instability throughout the region has increased as a direct result of the invasion of Iraq. Saudi Arabia recently arrested 170 suspected Al Qaeda members while breaking up a major terrorist plot targeting that country's oil infrastructure. In Lebanon, we have seen the rise of Hezbollah and, recently, of Al-Qaeda linked Sunni militant groups. Syria and Jordan are struggling to cope with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees and the resulting political instability that arises from their presence.
Terrorist attacks against US and Western interests in the Middle East and Europe are increasing at an alarming rate. Fighters who traveled to Iraq to join in the jihad against America are returning to their home countries carrying with them the skills they learned on the ground in Iraq.
On the fourth CIA warning, while we have not seen disruptions in the flow of oil we have seen an effective breakdown in the Atlantic alliance. Even with friendlier governments now in power in France and Germany, there's absolutely no prospect of NATO coming to our aid in Iraq or joining us in similar operations in the future.
In short, the CIA warned us about everything that might happen in Iraq and their forecasts were largely accurate. Bush, Cheney, and their band of neocons heard these warnings, ignored them, and pressed forward with plans for war with Iraq while never seriously considering detailed plans for the occupation of Iraq that could avoid or forestall the consequences foreseen by the CIA.
Incompetence, arrogance, or stupidity? Take your pick.
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