RUSI JournalVolume 149Issue 4

Intelligence and the Iraqi Threat: British Joint Intelligence after Butler


Our intelligence community costs upwards of £1.5 billion annually, and prides itself on the top level assessments of its much admired Joint Intelligence Committee (the JIC), yet something went wrong.

As put in an intelligence recruitment brochure, 'government cannot make the right decisions unless it has the full picture.'  Britain went to war against Iraq in the belief that intelligence showed that Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) existed.  It now seems that they did not.  Our intelligence community costs upwards of £1.5 billion annually, and prides itself on the top level assessments of its much admired Joint Intelligence Committee (the JIC), yet something went wrong in this case.  The Review of Lord Butler's Committee of Privy Counsellors now casts light upon it.  It is the first report of this kind to concentrate on intelligence, and warrants extended study.  In this article intelligence expert Michael Herman makes a preliminary assessment of the report and its implications.

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