Preventing Catastrophe: The Use and Misuse of Intelligence in Efforts to Halt the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

By Thomas Graham Jr.; Keith A. Hansen | Go to book overview

Appendix L
National Intelligence Estimate, Key Judgments:
Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of
Mass Destruction, October 2002
Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Note: The following excerpts from an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate were declassified on July 18, 2003, and presented at a White House background briefing on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Key Judgments [from October 2002 NIE]1

Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction
We judge that Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions; if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade. (See INR alternative view at the end of these Key Judgments.)We judge that we are seeing only a portion of Iraq's WMD efforts, owing to Baghdad's vigorous denial and deception efforts. Revelations after the Gulf war starkly demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken by Iraq to deny information. We lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD programs.Since inspections ended in 1998, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program, and invested more heavily in biological weapons; in the view of most agencies, Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.
Iraq's growing ability to sell oil illicitly increases Baghdad's capabilities to finance WMD programs; annual earnings in cash and goods have more than quadrupled, from $580 million in 1998 to about $3 billion this year.
Iraq has largely rebuilt missile and biological weapons facilities damaged during Operation Desert Fox and has expanded its chemical and biological infrastructure under the cover of civilian production.
Baghdad has exceeded UN range limits of 150 km with its ballistic missiles and is working with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which allow for a more lethal means to deliver biological and, less likely, chemical warfare agents.

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