Mark Phythian
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Flawed intelligence, limited oversight
Official inquiries into prewar UK intelligence on Iraq
in Intelligence and national security policymaking on Iraq
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This chapter considers both the reliability of UK intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and explanations for flaws in it. It assesses the effectiveness of the different forms of inquiry held into intelligence on Iraqi WMD in providing a full explanation of how the UK came to go to war on what Robin Cook famously termed a "false prospectus." The chapter focuses on the inquiries conducted by: the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC), the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), and the British government (the Butler Report). In its investigation, the ISC sought, "to examine whether the available intelligence, which informed the decision to invade Iraq, was adequate and properly assessed and whether it was accurately reflected in Government publications." The most thorough and revealing inquiry into the intelligence underpinning the UK government's case for war was that headed by Lord Butler.

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