NIE Contradicts Republicans on Iraq, War on Terror
A few select pages of the declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) were declassified today and provide scathing analysis of the Iraq and anti-terror situation. The verdict is in: Bush and the Rubberstamp Republicans Congress are wrong on Iraq and the War on Terror.
(ed. note: What a surprise: Bush disagreed with the findings, and complained about it's timing. He knows a thing or two about that.)
The NIE is an assessment by the sixteen agencies of the entire U.S. intelligence community. The report refutes many of the claims made by Bush and Congressional Republicans about the effects of the war in Iraq, the state of global terrorism and America's national security.
# The terrorism problem is growing worse and spreading.
Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion. [...]# Iraq is being used as a recruitment tool, training ground for terrorists.
... New jihadist networks and cells, with anti-American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge.
We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. [...]# Capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, and other top al-Qaeda leaders, would cause a fragmention of the group, and make the U.S. safer -- even for just a short period.
The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight. [...]
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role. [...]
Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.
The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements.I guess one out of three ain't bad...
We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qa’ida.
Rep. Pombo, a supporter of Bush's misadventure in Iraq, has little to say about it in public. He sticks to generalities about "completing the mission." In fact, the "On the Issues" page of his campaign website fails to mention Iraq at all. (National security/terrorism only gets one run-on sentence towards the bottom of the page.)
Iraq is a losing topic for Republicans, and Pombo knows it.
The NIE is blatantly clear: The Bush administration's Iraq policies are failing. And the Republican-controlled Congress stubbornly refuses to change course.
We will just have to do it for them.