FAST FIVE: Kept Secret For 17 Years: Intel Memo Warned Bush's Iraq Invasion To Create "Perfect Storm"
And there's Vice President Dick Cheney's infamous declaration that the military effort would take “weeks rather than months.” Now, sixteen years after the start of the war the “perfect storm” intel briefing has been made public in fully redacted form and it affirms, as the WSJ reports, “Diplomats accurately forecast many setbacks: sectarian violence, attacks on US troops, Iranian intervention and long road to structural change.” Out of this came the rise of ISIS and the continued unleashing of regime change and sectarian chaos on neighboring Syria. The ten page memo outlines a litany of catastrophic doom and gloom scenarios resulting from the invasion which would destabilize not only Iraq, but unleash sectarian hell on the entire region.
Here are but a handful of the memo's many warnings which later proved right on target, as summarized by the military reporting website Task & Purpose: Iran increasing aid to anti-American groups in both Iraq and Afghanistan because it feared being “next on US hit list.” Security in Iraq collapsing following regime change because Iraqi troops and police would be too afraid to patrol while Iraqis aligned with the United States would prove to be inept.
“It will be a wild mix.” “I don't mean to be pessimistic, because I really do believe that if we do it right this could be a tremendous boon to the future of the region, and to US national security interests,” the memo stated.
“But we should have no illusion that it will be quick or easy.” And further contradicting Cheney's “weeks rather than months” claim, the memo accurately predicted that US troops would have to stay for, “Five years – maybe four if we're lucky, ten if we're not.” Read the full newly declassified and unredacted intelligence memo here. Some further interesting highlights from the July 2002 'Secret' report are below.
We press Paks, internal stresses grow in Pakistan.” Iran and Syria targeted next “Following US warnings that it would take the war on terrorism to all groups with global capabilities, Iran and Syria hold summit meeting, decide US has targeted them.” Iran and Syria “strengthen positions in face of perceived US threat against them following action in Iraq.” Sectarian score settling and Shia uprising “This means night becomes the time for revenge, all over Iraq.