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National Intelligence Estimate

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New National Intelligence Estimate on the threat from al-Qaeda apparently says the threat is “persistent.”

  • Spencer Ackerman notes that what we’re seeing declassified today is eerily silent on the invasion and occupation of Iraq’s impact on jihadism.
  • Rand Beers’ National Security Network does some myth versus reality stuff.
  • Kevin Drum deems it vacuous.
  • Richard Clark says “It’s more about what it doesn’t say than what it does say.” In particular, it doesn’t say we have al-Qaeda on the run — because we don’t.

Anything else? My view is that these NIEs have started to suffer from a kind of Heisenberg Principle problem. They only constitute fodder for valid political point scoring if the authors aren’t expecting them to become political footballs. Since that’s clearly not the case with a report like this, it winds up having little probative value.

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