The war in Iraq has become "a major debacle" and the outcome "is in doubt" despite improvements in security from the buildup in U.S. forces, according to a highly critical study published Thursday by the Pentagon's premier military educational institute.From the report, which somehow didn't make the McClatchey headline generator:
On the eve of the 2003 war, all disputes on such details as aluminum tubes and uranium oxide from Niger aside, most international intelligence agencies believed, as did former President Clinton, that Saddam still possessed a major chemical weapons stockpile, a significant missile force, and active R&D programs for biological and nuclear weapons.As with the recent Joint Forces report, this one will also contain supporting information as to Bush's assessment to take out Saddam. It will also contain a highly critical assessment of how the war was handled, but post mortems are always 20/20. Hopefully we can learn from such things, but one thing is certain--liberal media establishments will cherry-pick the worst and feature it prominently every time.
I find nothing in credible sources to support the notion that the WMD threat was concocted by U.S. Government officials and then sold to a gullible public, nor do I believe that any one Iraqi source tricked us into our beliefs. No special offices within OSD or cabals of neoconservatives created the dominant perception of the danger of Iraqi WMD. We now know that there were many holes in our knowledge base, but senior officials and analysts were almost universally united in their core beliefs.
Why is this not surprising?
“The Miami Herald story (”Pentagon Study: War is a ‘Debacle’ “) distorts the nature of and intent of my personal research project. It was not an NDU study, nor was it a Pentagon study. Indeed, the implication of the Herald story was that this study was mostly about current events. Such is not the case. It was mainly about the period 2002-04. The story also hypes a number of paragraphs, many of which are quoted out of context. The study does not “lay much of the blame” on Secretary Rumsfeld for problems in the conduct of the war, nor does it say that he “bypassed the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” It does not single out “Condoleeza Rice and Stephen Hadley” for criticism.Just like the Joint Forces report. But the damage is done. The news cycle is short, and there will be no apologies or follow-ups.