To this day, George W. Bush’s Iraq policy has continued to be a source of argument, especially in regards to Iraq’s WMD programs. Bob Woodward says he has investigated the matter thoroughly and has concluded that the former president did not lie about Saddam Hussein’s WMD stockpiles before making the decision to start the Iraq war.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, with ISIS having access to old stockpiles of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, some experts have discussed whether it is technically possible to retrofit one of Iraq’s WMD stockpiles in order to create a functioning nuclear or chemical weapon. While there is disagreement over whether or not it’s feasible, everyone agrees the Islamic State is likely to try to develop a WMD.
After the end of the Iraq War, Saddam’s missing WMDs were very controversial, leading some to claim President George W Bush lied about Iraq’s WMD programs. As one of the reasons for going to war, Bush had argued Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction might end up in the hands of terrorist groups. Unfortunately, the world’s intelligence services had underestimated Hussein’s WMD capabilities before Desert Storm, and due to this mistake, they mistakenly compensated by overestimating the progress Saddam had made in rebuilding his weapons program.
Bob Woodward spent 18 months investigating whether or not George W. Bush lied about his motives for starting the Iraq War, and he says Bush actually told CIA Director George Tenet, “Don’t let anyone stretch the case on WMD.”
The journalist believes the Iraq War only occurred due to “momentum,” and as Woodward explained, “That war plan kept getting better and easier, and finally at the end people were saying, ‘Hey, look, it’ll only take a week or two.'”
Near the end of 2014, George W. Bush spoke about the invasion of Iraq and addressed accusations that the Iraq War was merely about “finishing what his father started.” Bush says this was not true, instead saying it was 9/11 that changed everything since “the danger we were concerned about was that the weapons would be put into the hands of terrorist groups that would come and make attacks of 9/11 pale in comparison.”
When Woodward spoke about these claims by Bush, the journalist said, “[T]here was no lie in this that I could find.”
At the same time, George W. Bush does have regrets, with the largest being the rise of ISIS.
“My regret is that a violent group of people has risen up again. This is al Qaeda plus. I put in the book that they need to be defeated. And I hope we do [defeat them].”
Bob Woodward also believes it was a mistake for President Obama to completely withdraw all American troops from Iraq instead of leaving a sizeable force behind as “an insurance policy” against the battles that are now happening.
“We have 30,000 troops or more in South Korea still, 65 years or so after the war,” Woodward said, according to NewsMax. “When you’re a superpower, you have to buy these insurance policies, and he didn’t in this case. I don’t think you can say everything is because of that decision — but clearly a factor.”
The other major controversial question is whether or not the United States ever found any functional WMDs in Iraq. After Iraq was occupied, reports from the CIA in 2005 concluded they found much of Iraq’s WMD development programs, which included a very limited development nuclear weapons program, 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium dating from before 1991, maintenance of dual-usage chemical weapons technology, and an unexpected air force buried in the sand.
Wikileaks revealed in 2010 that during the occupation of Iraq, the U.S. military discovered many small caches of chemical weapons, but others claimed that Russia had helped Hussein hide the most dangerous WMD stockpiles in Syria. The New York Times reported that “more than 2,400 nerve-agent rockets [were] unearthed in 2006 at a former Republican Guard compound,” yet “the Pentagon continued to withhold data, leaving the public misinformed as discoveries of chemical weapons accelerated sharply.”
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