Saturday, November 19, 2005

Interesting: Pre-OIF Intelligence.

Wretchard blogs about pre-OIF intelligence. I take it the blog he posted is the homework he is turning in for Professor Reynold's assignment. ;-)

Wretchard notes the intelligence being developed in the run up to the war was focused on what Iraq had in terms of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons to develop a casus belli. Instead he implies a much better effort would have been on gaining intelligence about the plans the Baathists had for the post invasion period.
Although the pre-war intelligence estimates of Iraq now turn out to be inadequate in many ways, its principal defect was that it attempted to measure the wrong thing. It ought to have focused on the extent to which Iraqi Ba'athists and regional terror groups would have mounted a Lebanon or West Bank type defense; identified the key hurdles in creating a replacement Iraqi state; and specified the requirements necessary to win this campaign in an impressive and overwhelming manner in order to demonstrate to the rogue state audience what the consequences of aggression against the United States were. But this subject was verboten, and so instead intelligence spoke to the strategically irrelevant minutiae of Yellowcake and centrifuges, casting a wavering light, like the drunk searching for a lost coin in the story, not in the area where it would be found but in the only place he could shine a beam.
Source: The Belmont Club - Pre-war Intelligence
Of course, one of the whines the left makes is Saddam Hussein was no threat to the US, therefore we should not have attacked him.
Consider the story of Henry Tandey, a British infantryman in the Duke of Wellington Regiment in the First World War. On September 28, 1918, Tandey participated in an attack against enemy trenches near the small French town of Marcoing. The British carried the day, and as they advanced, Tandey Cautiously peered into a trench. He saw an enemy soldier, a corporal, lying bleeding on the ground. It would have been easy for Tandey to finish off his enemy, as he had killed many that day; Tandey had played an heroic role in the battle and later was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest wartime decoration, for his great courage. But he felt it was wrong to shoot an injured man, and he spared the corporal's life.

In 1940, during the Nazi bombardment of Coventry, when Tandey worked as a security guard at the Triumph automobile factory, he gnashed his teeth. "Had I known what that corporal was going to become! God knows how sad I am that I spared him." The corporal was Adolf Hitler. Tandey's human gesture had led to the deaths of millions of people and, in a bitter irony of military destiny, had placed his own life at the mercy of the monster whose life he could have taken.
Source: National Review Michael Ledeen WWMD?
I agree with Wretchard. The pre-OIF intelligence was not a failure for what it failed to predict but for what it failed to focus on. If the nature of the new enemy and the historical lessons on the differences between immediate threats and looming threats is not enough than what is?