Wednesday, April 27, 2005

At Risk

Wretchard at the Belmont Club has a great series of posts up about Iran and the nuclear threat it poses to the U.S. and the world (here, here, and here). The last post emphasizes the poor intelligence the U.S. had prior to the Iraq war and our dependence on--of all things--German intelligence that was known by the Germans to be inadequate (they just didn't bother to mention it at the time); and points out that our information about Iran must be better for us to be able to act effectively there:

Command post at a hotel. Waiting for clearance to use a source that had never been directly seen. And nobody told me. Leaving aside the possibility that Mr. Tenet was set up by an allied intelligence service, nothing illustrates the poverty of the CIA's human intel than this reliance on a German controlled source to which the CIA did not have direct access yet used for one of its most critical assessments. The cupboard was bare. Given that level of failure, a certain amount of "indirect" confrontation with Iran is probably necessary to fill out an intelligence picture that is probably full of blanks before attempting anything further.

He who knows the enemy, knows self will never be at risk;
Does not know the enemy, knows self will win some and lose some;
Knows neither the enemy nor self will always be at risk.

-- Sun Tzu

Very worth reading all three posts.

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