NEWSROOM
Commentary Articles
In The News
News Releases
Experts



Media Inquiries

Kim Cloidt
Director of Marketing & Communications
(510) 632-1366 x116
(202) 725-7722 (cell)
Send Email

Robert Ade
Communications Manager
(510) 632-1366 x114
Send Email


Subscribe



Commentary
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

Contribute
Your participation will advance liberty. Join us as an Independent Institute member.



Contact Us
The Independent Institute
100 Swan Way
Oakland, CA 94621-1428

510-632-1366 Phone
510-568-6040 Fax
Send us email


Interested in working with us?  Click here for more information.

Commentary

$600 Million More for P.R. in Iraq?


     
 Print 

In the eye-popping $166 billion that the U.S. taxpayer is being expected to pay for a questionable intervention in Iraq is $600 million to pay for the administration’s public relations effort to polish its tarnished credibility by attempting to stumble across WMD. But even if they don't find WMD, at least they have an added $600 million to stretch out a likely futile search, thus delaying an embarrassing result past next year's election. The American taxpayer is already paying through the nose for post-war Iraq without spending money on administration spin and electioneering.

But what if WMD are really hidden somewhere and could end up in the hands of terrorists? Apparently, the president doesn't think so. In speeches, the president often says, “Terrorist groups will not ever be able to get weapons of mass destruction in Iraq because Saddam Hussein is no more.” And given the six months of scouring Iraq unsuccessfully for WMD, this outcome is unlikely. The United States has already spent $300 million in an intense effort to find the weapons. They have captured most of the key scientists and none of them seems to have knowledge that could break open the case. If the key scientists have scant knowledge of such programs, then who does? It would have been difficult for Saddam to secretly recruit an entirely new scientific team because scientists and engineers with expertise on WMD don't grow on trees. All the Bush administration’s inspectors have found is a few weapons precursors. It is now clear that the administration had little new intelligence information on Iraq’s WMD programs after the international inspectors left in 1998. The administration thus extrapolated the future based on the past.

Sometimes the intelligence community gets it wrong, but the key question is why the nation was committed to war to counter an “imminent threat” that was based on such thin evidence. Before the war, a key reason that the administration characterized the Iraqi threat in this way was Iraq’s alleged development of nuclear weapons. But David Kay, the current chief weapons inspector for the administration, has said of that nuclear weapons effort, “It clearly does not look like a massive, resurgent program, based on what we've discovered now. It is the program right now that we probably know the least about and have the least confidence in saying what it meant.”

So much violence, so little intelligence.


Ivan Eland is Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. Dr. Eland is a graduate of Iowa State University and received an M.B.A. in applied economics and Ph.D. in national security policy from George Washington University. He has been Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, and he spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. He is author of the books Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq, and Recarving Rushmore.

New from Ivan Eland!
NO WAR FOR OIL: U.S. Dependency and the Middle East

The grab for oil resources has been a major factor behind many conflicts and military deployments because of its perception as a strategic commodity. This book debunks the notion that oil is strategic and argues that war for oil is not necessary to secure the flow of petroleum. Learn More »»






Home | About Us | Blogs | Issues | Newsroom | Multimedia | Events | Publications | Centers | Students | Store | Donate

Product Catalog | RSS | Jobs | Course Adoption | Links | Privacy Policy | Site Map
Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook
Copyright 2014 The Independent Institute