November 26, 2007

New thoughts on Curveball

I've posted a more analytical treatment of the Curveball case at the Liberal Conspiracy. Basically I suggest that what this case shows is that the defects in prewar Iraq intelligence were all to do with a lack of international cooperation and a lack of non-politically influenced discussion at the centre of government. Essentially Curveball demonstrates that we need more cooperation in international affairs, particularly intelligence upon which anything in modern warfare depends and we need to be more thoughtful about the politicisation of our civil service.

2 comments:

edmund said...

her'esthe comment i posted

Interesting piece - i think it shows how intelligence sharing is central - and the key thing is to make intelligence services trust each other (which means giving them reason including guarees of secrecy)
Having said that to what degree should Bush and Cheney be peculiarly blamed for this(which is not to say they behaved perfectly far from it!) -after all the same attitudes on iraq were true under Clinton and Tenet was also ion charge them- surely part of the point is about the CIA leadership. having a particular viewpoint ( I don’t think just for external reasons-also from institutional inertia and credibly) which helped produce this.
And this works in many ways- see the first gulf war where they had no idea of how far advanced saddam’s programmes were- I think institutional overreaction to this humiliation is as much the course of the mistakes of the 2000’s as any other.

Gracchi said...

Edmund I agree I don't think those problems are particularly Bush Cheney- though if it had been their own man in the CIA it might have been different- I don't think Tenet's position as an ex Clinton man helped.