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Senate Committee Report. Approved for Release: Apr 2007

Conclusions, paraphrased for brevity, summarized with [Commentary]:

Democracy in Iraq
  • Establishing a democracy in postwar Iraq would be a long, difficult, and probably turbulent challenge.
    • Iraqi tradition is authoritarianism.
    • Establishing a representative political system would be the greatest challenge.
    • Iraqi culture did not foster liberalism or democracy.
    • Iraqi political culture was bereft of the social underpinnings necessary for developing a broad based participatory democracy.
    • Although free democratic elections would be popular, there was no popular concept of a loyal opposition or experience with alternation of power; opposition parties would require significant and prolonged external economic, political and military support.
  • On the positive side, the report noted:
    • Secular authoritarian governance was discredited and Shiism was relatively unpoliticized.
    • Positive contributions would be expected from the four million Iraqis living in exile.

  • Al Qa'ida would probably see opportunities for attack during and after a US-Iraq war.
  • Other groups could mount attacks as well.
  • If Al Qa'ida mobilized significant resources to combat a US presence in Iraq, it could, at least in the near term, reduce its overall capability to strike elsewhere.
  • Internecine violence would encourage terrorist groups to strike inside Iraq.
  • Rogue ex-regime elements could forge alliances with existing terrorist groups or act independently to wage guerilla warfare against the government and coalition forces.

Domestic Conflict
  • A post-Saddam authority would face a deeply divided society with a significant chance that domestic groups would engage in violent conflict with each other unless an occupying force prevented them from doing so.
  • Score settling would occur throughout Iraq between those associated with Saddam's regime and those who have suffered the most under it.

Political Islam
  • A US-led defeat and occupation of Arab Iraq probably would boost proponents of political Islam.
  • In some countries an increase in Islamist sentiment also probably would take the form of greater support for Islamic political parties that seek to come to power through legitimate means.

Iraq's Neighbors
  • Activities by Iraq's neighbors would range from humanitarian reconstruction to fomenting strife.
  • Iraq's immediate neighbors would have the greatest stakes and be most likely to oppose US goals in post-Saddam Iraq.
  • Iran in particular would respond negatively if it perceived its interests were threatened.
  • Guaranteeing Iran a role in the reconstruction period might encourage Iran to play a constructive role.
  • The establishment of a mechanism for US and Iranian officials to communicate on the ground in Iraq could facilitate dialogue.

  • Military action to prevent WMD in Iraq would not deter neighboring ststes from developing their own programs for several reasons:
    • Need to survive in a dangerous neighborhood.
    • Enhance regional prestige.
    • Compensate for military deficiencies.
    • Deter threats from superior adversaries.
    • Develop deterrent capability before its nuclear production sites were destroyed preemptively.

  • A post-war government would have to walk a fine line between dismantling the worst aspects of Saddam's police, security, and intelligence forces while retaining ability to preserve the peace.
  • The Iraqi army was relatively unpoliticized below the command level and, once purged of intelligence officers, it could be used for security and law enforcement activities on an interim basis.
  • The police force would need to be reconstructed and retrained to earn the trust of Iraqi people.

  • Post-war economic stress could be alleviated by Iraq drawing on its vast oil reserves.
  • If oil facilities were relatively undamaged, they could increase their production rate by about 30%.
  • Political transformation would be more difficult than economic reconstruction.

Humanitarian Issues
  • Major outside assistance would be needed.
  • Internal security would affect the humanitarian challenge.
  • 900,000 people would be displaced internally and 1.45 million would become refugees.
  • Civilian health care would probably be severely damaged by the war and widespread civil strife.

  • Significant outside assistance would be required to rebuild Iraq's water and sanitation infrastructure.
  • Restoring water and electricity after the war would depend chiefly on how much destruction was caused by urban combat.
  • Cuts in electricity or looting of distribution networks could have a cascading disastrous impact on hospitals at a time when casualty rates are likely to be high.

[All the above proved astonishingly accurate! Someone didn't read, didn't comprehend, or simply ignored the accurate picture drawn. Others perhaps didn't put the information all together in sufficiently bulletproof and professional form. Still others ignored the caution flags and qualifications in their pell-mell hurry to depose Saddam and corner oil supplies. In any event, the US Government did not do its homework.

It is our view that the front-line intelligence community cannot be faulted in its assessment of the fallout attending a war in Iraq. If they missed anything, it was the animosity built up over the centuries between the Sunnis and Shias, and from the Sunni's close association with the Saddam regime. The lawless elements were also not taken into full account. But overall, the intelligence agencies did a fine job as far as assessing the effects from war were concerned. What the Bush Administration did with the information is one sad chapter in history.]


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