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CHAPTER 7

CONCLUSIONS ON BROADER ISSUES

    • 7.1

      GENERAL CONCLUSIONS ABOUT INTELLIGENCE AND ITS USE

  • 580.

    In this Chapter, we set out some general conclusions about the gathering, evaluation and

use of intelligence, in the light of our examination of the material in preceding Chapters.

OTHER CASES

  • 581.

    As the Intelligence and Security Committee have observed1: Most of the hard work that the Agencies do every year will never be made public.

  • 582.

    Much that is in Chapter 2 can be told only because the outcomes described there are now publicly known. Nevertheless, the material we have published for the first time in this Report illustrates the contribution of intelligence reports and assessments to the handling of each of these cases over recent years. Intelligence has been validated to an impressive extent by what has been subsequently revealed and has played a crucial part in enabling developing threats to international security and stability to be identified and countered. For obvious reasons, we have not discussed the sources of the intelligence but we have examined them. The cases demonstrate a high degree of co-operation not only between the agencies but also with liaison services, and with the departments who have been enabled to act effectively on the intelligence.

INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION

583.

We believe it to be right, therefore, to start this Chapter with our views on the importance of international co-operation in this field. While there may be differences between countries over policy issues, not least towards the Middle East, there is agreement among the great majority of countries over the need to tackle the risks posed by destabilising nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programmes, to limit proliferation and to prevent terrorists from increasing their arsenal of destruction by the acquisition of vastly

more powerful weapons.

584.

We note that much

of what was

reliably

known

about

Iraq’s

unconventional weapons programmes in the mid- and late-1990s was obtained through the reports of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These international agencies now appear to have been more effective than was realised at the time in dismantling and inhibiting Iraq’s prohibited weapons programmes. The value of such international organisations needs to be recognised and built on for the future, supported by the contribution of intelligence from national agencies.

1

Intelligence and Security Committee Annual Report 2003-2004. Cm 6240. June 2004.

141

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