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On the Iraq NIE

Well they finally released the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq that has been promised would be forthcoming for nigh on a year. And it's no surprise the administration fought tooth and nail to keep it from seeing daylight. Because even just the nine pages (pdf) declassified for public consumption does a pretty good job of refuting just about everything the administration has been saying about the war. Among some of its key findings:

- The "surge" of US troops into Iraq is unlikely to work because the chances of an expedited political reconciliation are nil given the deep-seeded sectarian nature of the participants involved. But in Bushworld, the "surge" is still the best plan evah.

- Though it notes that the complexity of the conflict makes it difficult to characterize it as a "civil war", it nonetheless applies that label to key elements of the conflict. Bushworld: nope, no civil war here.

- It downplays the role of Iran in fomenting violence, which explains why the release of the so-called "evidence" that Iran is meddling in Iraq was put on hold. Even our allies across the pond aren't jumping on the "blame Iran" bandwagon. No need to worry though, because the Bushies assure us they aren't planning for war with Iran.

Fool me once indeed.

As always, Meme has the roundup of analyses. See also Stirling Newberry.