Iraq Survey Group Final Report
Note for the Comprehensive Report With Addendums
The security situation in Iraq worsened following the submission of the 30 September 2004 Comprehensive Report. The Iraq Survey Group lost two more brave individuals in a suicide car bomb attack. SFC Clinton Wisdom and SPC Don Clary were killed, and SPC Nathan Gray was seriously wounded while providing security for a convoy transporting ISG members to Baghdad. Their actions to fend off the attacking vehicle allowed others to survive the explosion—including the DCI’s Special Advisor and his deputy.
The knowledge acquired for this report was costly. An earlier explosion during an ISG mission on 26 April 2004 took the lives of SGT Sherwood Baker and SGT Lawrence Roukey and seriously wounded five others—SGT Michelle Hufnagel; SPC Brian Messersmith; SGT Darren Miles; SPC Ryan Owlett; and SGT Joseph Washam.
Knowledge is invaluable and marks our advancement as a nation and society; however, it must be used to inform future decisions. This report is intended for that purpose as well as to understand the past. All who make use of this report—for research, to shape future policies, to teach—will honor those who sacrificed so much in this endeavor.
Following the submission of the 30 September 2004 Comprehensive Report, additional investigation has been conducted on selected issues that bear on the current or future concerns related to WMD. Also, analysts recorded a more complete description of the key Iraqi Government body related to WMD, the Military Industrial Commission (MIC).
The addendums complete the record of the DCI’s Special Advisor on Iraq’s WMD. No doubt further information will become available over time. As Iraqi participants in these programs begin to speak more freely (publicly), new information and perspectives may emerge. It is a complicated set of events and perspectives will vary widely with the reporter. Of course, certain individual participants within the Regime were well positioned to observe the programs and decisions, but they are not without their own set of biases. Those Iraqis who are subject to judicial proceedings may well revise or reverse statements provided to ISG investigators. Nevertheless, when Iraqis look back on the events of the past three decades and develop their own versions of the role of WMD, it will add to overall understanding. I hope this will not contradict substantively this report, but add context and refinement.
In addition to the Addendums, this printing includes a slightly revised version of the 30 September 2004 Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction to accommodate minor technical and typographic corrections. The majority of changes were made to ensure consistency and accuracy of spelling of Arabic names. Some changes are attributed to correcting grammatical errors, deleting redundant statements, and rewording awkward statements for clarity. One significant change corrects an error concerning a Danish company, Niro Atomizer, Inc. The Regime Finance and Procurement chapter, annex I section entitled “Possible Breeches of UN Sanctions by Danish Companies” was removed because the dual-use equipment transfer referred to in that section occurred prior to the imposition of sanctions and therefore was not a breach of sanctions.
For now, this report is the best picture that could be drawn concerning the events, programs, policies, and underlying dynamics of the relationship of the former Regime to WMD over the last three decades.
The addendums reflect some further work on a few particular issues.
Residual Proliferation Concerns. Since the completion of the 30 September 2004 Comprehensive Report, ISG conducted interviews related to status of sites, equipment, and people formerly involved in Iraq WMDrelated activities. Site visits were terminated in November due to security concerns. Interviews were also limited to members of the Iraq National Monitoring Directorate and blacklisted detainees at the Camp Cropper facility at Baghdad International Airport. Overall, the risk of Iraqi WMD expertise or material advancing the WMD potential in other countries is attenuated by many factors and is presently small (but not to be ignored). There is a continuing possibility that insurgents will attempt to draw on resident expertise to develop unconventional weapons for use against coalition forces. So far, insurgent efforts to attain unconventional weapons have been limited and contained by coalition actions.
Detainees. There is a brief discussion of the role of detainees as a primary source for the Comprehensive Report. Many of the individuals in custody were detained strictly because of their role in Iraq’s WMD programs. Many have been very cooperative and provided great assistance in understanding the WMD programs and the intentions of the Regime with respect to WMD. At this point, there is no further need to debrief detainees for WMD reasons. Some may have other issues to account for, including Regime finance questions, but certainly some have been quite helpful toward the compilation of an accurate picture of the Regime’s WMD efforts and intentions over the last three decades. For example, detainees provided exquisite detail about the Oil for Food program (only some of which is recorded in this report). In my view, certain detainees are overdue for release.
Military Industrial Commission. The addendums include a substantial section describing in some detail the evolution of the Iraqi Military Industrial Commission, which was the state-run military-industrial complex. It had a central role in the evolution of all the Regime’s weapons programs. ISG experts acquired a substantial body of information from key participants, and it is recorded as background to the overall direction of WMD in Iraq.
Remaining Uncertainties. Some uncertainties remain and some information will continue to emerge about the WMD programs or the former Regime. Reports cited in the Comprehensive Report concerning the possible movement of WMD or WMD materials from Iraq prior to the war remain unresolved. With the recent increase in security, planned efforts to investigate this issue were suspended. ISG developed an investigation plan that may be pursued when the security situation improves.
Documents. A substantial effort continues to examine the documents that have been recovered from the former Regime. This is an important task and some recent discoveries of additional Iraqi Intelligence Service and other government documents may offer insights into the specifics of a wide range of Regime actions—not just WMD. For example, a large collection of audiotapes from Revolutionary Command Council meetings chaired by Saddam is being translated and reviewed. These will provide great insight into the decision making of the former Regime on a range of key subjects. At present it is estimated that triaging and obtaining short summaries of the remaining documents will take several months at least. Even though this documentation may offer further understanding into the workings of the Regime and provide information for other inquiries such as the investigation into the Oil-For-Food program, it is not likely that significant surprises remain with respect to the Regime’s WMD efforts. Nevertheless, documents may provide more texture and details of particular WMD programs and decisions. There may also be more specifics concerning who and how the WMD programs were conducted, including support from outside Iraq.
WMD Leftovers. There continue to be reports of WMD in Iraq. ISG has found that such reports are usually scams or misidentification of materials or activities. A very limited number of cases involved the discovery of old chemical munitions produced before 1990. These types of reports (particularly scams) will likely continue for some time and local authorities will have to judge which merit further investigation.
Overall, I have confidence in the picture of events and programs covered by this report. If there were to be a surprise in the future, it most likely would be in the biological weapons area, since the signature and facilities for these efforts are small compared to the other WMD types. ISG disproved much of the prewar reporting from a specific source concerning mobile BW capability, but it is still possible, though I would judge very unlikely, that such a capability remains undiscovered. Given the access to individuals involved in these programs, it would seem probable that someone would have given some concrete indication of surviving or undeclared capability.
The effort to investigate Iraq’s WMD programs has drawn on the skills and resources of individuals from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. I am grateful for all their efforts and the efforts of Iraqis who chose to assist. I must also recognize the military leadership of the Iraq Survey Group’s USA General Keith Dayton and Brigadier General Joe McMenamin and their UK colleaques, Brigadier Tim Tyler and Brigadier Graeme Morrison. These men organized and ran the military organization that conducted the investigation in a very difficult environment. Hopefully, this report will help avoid similar tragedies as have surrounded Iraq for the last 30 years.
Special Advisor to the Director
of Central Intelligence
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|