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Wilful blindness or blissful ignorance? The United States and the successful denucelarization of Iraq

Ryan, Maria

Authors

MARIA RYAN maria.ryan@nottingham.ac.uk
Assistant Professor



Abstract

This article examines the successful denuclearization of Iraq by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the early 1990s and the apparent failure of the US Intelligence Community (IC) to rethink its assessments of Saddam’s desire for nuclear weapons despite Baghdad’s co-operation with the IAEA inspectors, and clear evidence from the Ongoing Monitoring and Verification team that this was a highly successful process. US policy towards Iraq, from the Clinton administration onwards, was hyper-politicized; it relied on a default, unchanging view of Saddam Hussein as a rogue leader bent on WMD acquisition and regional domination in an area that was of vital importance to the United States. The article also considers the impact of the fractious UNSCOM inspections process and argues that this was severely compromised by political intrusion, which was also ignored by the US IC in its assessments of Saddam’s intentions. Ultimately, US intelligence on Iraq was filtered for a decade through a hyper-politicized lens that tended to discount evidence from the IAEA that disproved pre-existing assumptions.

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Intelligence and National Security
Print ISSN 0268-4527
Electronic ISSN 1743-9019
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Ryan, M. (in press). Wilful blindness or blissful ignorance? The United States and the successful denucelarization of Iraq. Intelligence and National Security, 29(3), https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2014.895596
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/02684527.2014.895596
Keywords Iraq, Inspections, IAEA, UNSCOM, Denial and Deception
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02684527.2014.895596
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Intelligence and National Security on 4 June 2014, available online: http://www.tandfonline....80/02684527.2014.895596

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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