Chilcot Report 5 replies

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Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#1 2 years ago

So, the big - around twice as long as the Harry Potter series, which is fitting considering the quality of intelligence - report into the Iraq War has been released.

http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk

A brief summary of findings is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36721645

Roughly what we'd expect, given what we know after the event. The extent to which MI5 were led around appears to have been quite significant. Thoughts anyone?




FileTrekker Über Admin

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#2 2 years ago

"Nemmerle"So, the big - around twice as long as the Harry Potter series, which is fitting considering the quality of intelligence - report into the Iraq War has been released.

http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk

A brief summary of findings is here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36721645

Roughly what we'd expect, given what we know after the event. The extent to which MI5 were led around appears to have been quite significant. Thoughts anyone?

Obviously I haven't read the whole report, but I'm sure I read somewhere that they just stole plots from a Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage film and passed it off an intelligence?

Farcical really, isn't it?


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#3 2 years ago

One of MI's sources gave an account of chemical weapons that was lifted from a film. The intelligence community flagged this up, but I don't think that was passed on in an adequate and timely manner.

 All the motivation in the reports on the part of military intelligence officers seems to have been on the part of treating government as the managers. Rather than serving as a relatively independent advisory arm. 

Which is basically insane. Obviously an  intelligence service needs to answer to its government in operational terms. But no government is entitled to its own facts in that way. 




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#4 2 years ago

No big surprises, but you have to give the UK credit for the official investigation. Owning past mistakes is the only way to move forward. In the US lots of people (around 30% from what I remember) still believe that invading Iraq was a good idea.

I remember discussing the news about mobile chem-weapon laboratories and similar "intelligence findings" with friends back before the invasion. Granted, I was young and naive, but It did seem credible back then. The US was an unchallenged superpower, the CIA had a solid reputation and many people rememberd the Gulf war and consequently figured that removing Saddam would be a good thing regardless of how much truth there was to the intelligence reports.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#5 2 years ago

Yeah, I remember that as well.

Most of the problems that we have are systemic in nature. Not just on this but on a wide range of issues ( -cough- procurement -cough- ) and I do wonder how much attention folks are going to pay to the findings of this report the next time something like this comes around. They've got a rather long history of ignoring findings that don't favour their politics. The next time there's intelligence about a threat will there be politicians with the report in hand going 'well, the last time - so unless you've fixed that or can show us you're not acting the same...' - or... not?

I suspect not.

We're going to need systematic changes if we want to address the problem on similar terms to those it occurred on. If we were making an intelligence agency that was going to output accurate results given the information they had available at the time and not have those results perverted by government, how would one go about that?




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#6 2 years ago

Good question. Any agency will have a strong incentive to report the sort of stuff that their supervising politicians want to hear. Maybe you could try to disentangle important agencies from the political world a bit by designing agency career paths to be incompatible and independent from political career paths.

I think the best way to deal with this sort of situation is to impose national legislation that seeks out and punishes people who intentionally lie to the public in order to start a war. There are international courts for war crimes and starting a war of aggression is basically punishable. Unfortunately those courts are restricted in what they can do when suspects reside in nations that are too powerful.

But countries like the US want to keep their options open and don't like the idea of making themselves vulnerable to other powers with such laws. Nowadays, for example, the US probably wants the option of starting a war with China because China is likely to ignore international rulings on violations of right of passage in the south China sea.