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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Intelligence about WMD

This OpinionJournal Article on the Robb-Silberman report is well worth reading. This bit here is probably the most important:

In one sense, it would be more reassuring if the conspiracy crowd were right; at least we could be confident that our intelligence agencies were competent. But the truth exposed by Robb-Silberman is more alarming: The CIA knows far too little about the enemies who threaten us with WMD. One reason it overestimated Saddam's WMD capability in 2002-03 is because its analysts recalled how they had underestimated how far along his nuclear-weapons program had been in 1991. The agency was also surprised to discover, after the fall of the Taliban, how much progress al Qaeda had made toward gaining biological weapons in Afghanistan. Regarding both Iran and North Korea, it still knows disturbingly little.
I think we do need to improve our intelligence capability in this regard. It is important to remember though that intelligence is a two player game and we will never be able to gaurantee that we will always 'win'. There will be uncertainty and doubt about any conclusion. Too much fear of being wrong can lead to paralysis that is far worse than acting on faulty information.


Blogger tsykoduk said...

There is a really good interview over at NPR with the author of Ghost Wars. I am going to get the book.

The interviews are audio only, but very good. I highly reccomend them. They talk about the failure of the US Intellegence and Forign Policy - and some of the causes of the current world enviroment.

It's good to learn from the past :)

4/05/2005 10:51:00 AM  

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