document within a broader policy context. This may make such documents less persuasive in making a policy case; but that is the price of using a JIC assessment. Our conclusion is that, between these options, the first is greatly preferable. Whichever route is chosen, JIC clearance of the intelligence content of any similar document will be essential. (Paragraph 467)
We conclude that, if intelligence is to be used more widely by governments in public debate in future, those doing so must be careful to explain its uses and limitations. It will be essential, too, that clearer and more effective dividing lines between assessment and advocacy are established when doing so. (Paragraph 468)
We realise that our conclusions may provoke calls for the current Chairman of the JIC, Mr Scarlett, to withdraw from his appointment as the next Chief of SIS. We greatly hope that he will not do so. We have a high regard for his abilities and his record. (Paragraph 469)
The part played by intelligence in determining the legality of the use of force was limited. (Paragraph 470)
We have noted that, despite its importance to the determination of whether Iraq was in further material breach of its obligations under Resolution 1441, the JIC made no further assessment of the Iraqi declaration beyond its ‘Initial Assessment’ provided on 18 December. We have also recorded our surprise that policy-makers and the intelligence community did not, as the generally negative results of UNMOVIC inspections became increasingly apparent, re-evaluate in early 2003 the quality of the intelligence. (Paragraph 472)
VALIDATION OF THE INTELLIGENCE
Even now it would be premature to reach conclusions about Iraq’s prohibited weapons. Much potential evidence may have been destroyed in the looting and disorder that followed the cessation of hostilities. Other material may be hidden in the sand, including stocks of agent or weapons. We believe that it would be a rash person who asserted at this stage that evidence of Iraqi possession of stocks of biological or chemical agents, or even of banned missiles, does not exist or will never be found. But as a result of our Review, and taking into account the evidence which has been found by the ISG and de- briefing of Iraqi personnel, we have reached the conclusion that prior to the war the Iraqi regime:
Had the strategic intention of resuming the pursuit of prohibited weapons programmes, including if possible its nuclear weapons programme, when United Nations inspection regimes were relaxed and sanctions were eroded or lifted.
In support of that goal, was carrying out illicit research and development, and procurement, activities, to seek to sustain its indigenous capabilities.
Was developing ballistic missiles with a range longer than permitted under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions; but did not have