the use of overriding force in a ground campaign would achieve the removal of Saddam Hussein and Iraq’s re-integration with the international community. Officials noted that regime change of itself had no basis in international law; and that any offensive military action against Iraq could only be justified if Iraq were held to be in breach of its disarmament obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 or some new resolution. Officials also noted that for the five Permanent Members of the Security Council and the majority of the 15 members of the Council to take the view that Iraq was in breach of its obligations under Resolution 687, they would need to be convinced that Iraq was in breach of its obligations; that such proof would need to be incontrovertible and of large-scale activity; but that the intelligence then available was insufficiently robust to meet that criterion. (Paragraph 429)
Intelligence on Iraqi nuclear, biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes was used in support of the execution of this policy to inform planning for a military campaign; to inform domestic and international opinion, in support of the Government’s advocacy of its changing policy towards Iraq; and to obtain and provide information to United Nations inspectors. (Paragraph 431)
Iraq was not the only issue on which the intelligence agencies, the JIC and the departments concerned were working during this period. Other matters, including terrorism and the activities of other countries of concern, were requiring intensive day-to- day observation and action. (Paragraph 432)
THE SOURCES OF INTELLIGENCE
Between 1991 and 1998, the bulk of information used in assessing the status of Iraq’s biological, chemical and ballistic missile programmes was derived from UNSCOM reports. (Paragraph 433)
After the departure of the United Nations inspectors in December 1998, information sources were sparse, particularly on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons programmes. (Paragraph 433)
The number of primary human intelligence sources remained few. Other intelligence sources provided valuable information on other activity, including overseas procurement activity. They did not generally provide confirmation of the intelligence received from human sources, but did contribute to the picture of the continuing intention of the Iraqi regime to pursue its prohibited weapons programmes. (Paragraphs 434/435)
Validation of human intelligence sources after the war has thrown doubt on a high proportion of those sources and of their reports, and hence on the quality of the intelligence assessments received by Ministers and officials in the period from summer 2002 to the outbreak of hostilities. Of the main human intelligence sources:
One SIS main source reported authoritatively on some issues, but on others was passing on what he had heard within his circle.
Reporting from a sub-source to a second SIS main source that was important to JIC assessments on Iraqi possession of chemical and biological weapons must be open to doubt.