This memo was sent by George W Bush to his then-deputy national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, after the invasion of Iraq.
The memo, titled “Achieving Peace in Iraq,” outlines a plan to achieve a negotiated settlement to the conflict by December of 2002.
It was a stark reminder of the dangers of a U.S. invasion that left Iraq on the brink of war.
Here’s what we know about the memo.
What was it?
The memo was a draft prepared for the National Security Council (NSC) that outlined Bush’s policy towards Iraq and other countries in the region.
Its contents were largely classified, but a key element of the document outlined the “strategic objectives” for the U.N. and the Arab League in the aftermath of the war, which was launched in March 2003.
“The strategic objectives are that we must achieve a peaceful resolution to the Iraqi conflict, with a lasting and lasting security solution,” the document read.
“This requires the elimination of the threat of Iraq as a nuclear weapons state, and a political settlement that guarantees the full sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.”
The document also outlined plans for “economic cooperation” with Iraq, including “the construction of a $15 billion (U.S.) pipeline that would transport crude oil and gas to the Gulf of Aden.”
The memo’s contents were also heavily redacted to prevent the release of details that could lead to U.A.E. involvement in the conflict.
The NSC later declassified parts of the memo, including the title “Strategic Goals for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” but redacted the document’s final section that discussed “the potential for a Gulf of Cambys.
The CIA redacted parts of that section, which read, “If we do not resolve the Iraqi issue, we will have lost our ability to conduct strategic discussions with our allies, which could lead us into a conflict with our closest Arab and Gulf neighbors.”
The declassified memo also stated that a conflict between the U,S.
and Iraq would likely lead to “a confrontation with the Arab states.”
What was the rationale for the redaction?
The redaction is meant to prevent revealing U.O. and U.K. intelligence about U.H.W.I. activities in Iraq and to protect U. S. national security interests, according to the declassified version of the draft memo.
The redactions also prevent revealing details that might compromise U. A.E.’s ability to develop and deploy sophisticated weaponry and missile systems, which would allow for U. N. to be more effective at countering threats from Iraq.
Did the redactions help shape the U-S.
The Bush administration’s initial redactions did not appear to significantly influence the U.-S.
strategy in Iraq.
But the redactors also made it harder for the administration to make public U.W.-era intelligence and U-N.
Security Council proposals for the war in Iraq, which were later publicly released.
What did the intelligence community know about U-H.Q.?
The CIA initially reported that the UH.
G. had been involved in the smuggling of arms to Iraq, but in May 2002, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted down an Obama administration request to declassify the UQ’s role in Iraq smuggling.
The U. K. Government later concluded that the intelligence agencies were wrong in their assessment that the smuggling was linked to the U H.Q. However, U.R.N.’s own intelligence assessment in 2004 stated that “the UHQ was not directly involved in arms trafficking in Iraq.”
What did U.D.
N say about the redacts?
Ns declassified intelligence on the UW-HQ’s ties to Iraq is redacted to protect the U’s intelligence capabilities, the intelligence agency said in a statement in December 2016.
N’s declassified information was also redacted to avoid revealing sensitive U.E.-U.
N negotiations, according, to the document.
“To protect our national security, it is important that the information contained in this material be released to the American public,” the statement said.
Why did the CIA and the National Intelligence Council make the redacting decision?
The CIA and NSC made the redacings in response to the growing concern among U.U. leaders that U.B.H.-UH.
A., or the “Iraqi Axis,” were poised to launch a terrorist attack on U.s. soil.
The Redacted version of Bush’s draft memo, which has not been released, was drafted to help explain to UA.
S and other allies what the UOB was doing in Iraq at the time.
The intelligence community believed that the redacted document, along with other intelligence on UW, UH, and