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Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 14th July 2004 - page 84 / 216





84 / 216

Iraq is seeking to develop new,larger liquid and solid propellant missile s,contrary to UN limits. Recent intelligence indicates personnel associated with the Al Samoud programme have now been tasked to concentrate on designing liquid propellant systems with ranges of 2000–3000km. New intelligence indicates the main focus may be on the development of a SCUD derivative,which we judge has an intende d range of around 1200km . . . Providing sanctions remain effective,Iraq is u nlikely to be able to produce a longer-range missile before 2007.

[JIC, 15 March 2002]

We have examined the intelligence underpinning these judgements and on missile development found it substantial.


  • 282.

    The inter-departmental advice and JIC assessment we have described above formed part of the background for the Prime Minister’s meeting with President Bush at Crawford on 6–7 April 2002. Policy advice was not influenced so much by changing intelligence on Iraq as by two other factors which reinforced each other.

  • 283.

    One was a general concern about proliferation and the intelligence becoming available about the AQ Khan network, and what this added to the concerns already felt about North Korea, Libya and Iran as well as Iraq - the sense of a ‘creeping tide’ we discuss above. The second was the absence of physical inspection of Iraqi programmes and activities following the withdrawal of United Nations inspectors in 1998 and fears about what the Iraqi regime might be able to achieve in terms of building up its prohibited weapons programmes if left unchecked.

  • 284.

    Both those were increased by the heightened sensitivity following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the changed ‘calculus of threat’ we describe at Chapter 3 - the desire of terrorists and extremists to cause casualties on a massive scale, undeterred by the fear of alienating the public or their supporters, or by considerations of personal survival. The Prime Minister confirmed to us that his position was accurately represented by a statement in one of the policy papers that: What has changed is not the pace of Saddam Hussein’s WMD programmes but our tolerance of them post 11 September.

  • 285.

    We have also noted that departments and agencies saw the direct challenges to British interests caused by the proliferation activities of states other than Iraq as being more serious. But it is clear from the papers we have seen and from the evidence we have heard from witnesses that the Government, as well as being influenced by the concerns of the US Government, saw a need for immediate action on Iraq because of the wider historical and international context, especially Iraq’s perceived continuing challenge to the authority of the United Nations. It also saw in the United Nations and a decade of Security Council Resolutions calling for Iraqi disarmament a basis for taking action to enforce Iraqi disarmament. The Prime Minister said to us on this that: . . . the place to start was Iraq because you have the history of the United Nations Resolutions and you have the . . . fact that we’d taken action in respect of WMD in


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