1. Since UN inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in 1998, there has been little
overt information on Iraq's chemical, biological, nuclear and ballistic missile
programmes. Much of the publicly available information about Iraqi capabilities
and intentions is dated. But we also have available a range of secret intelligence
about these programmes and Saddam Hussein's intentions. This comes
principally from the United Kingdom's intelligence and analysis agencies   the
Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), the Government Communications
Headquarters (GCHQ), the Security Service, and the Defence Intelligence Staff
(DIS). We also have access to intelligence from close allies.
2. Intelligence rarely offers a complete account of activities which are designed to
remain concealed. The nature of Saddam's regime makes Iraq a difficult target
for the intelligence services. Intelligence, however, has provided important
insights into Iraqi programmes and Iraqi military thinking. Taken together with
what is already known from other sources, this intelligence builds our
understanding of Iraq's capabilities and adds significantly to the analysis already
in the public domain. But intelligence sources need to be protected, and this
limits the detail that can be made available.
3. Iraq's capabilities have been regularly reviewed by the Joint Intelligence
Committee (JIC), which has provided advice to the Prime Minister and his
senior colleagues on the developing assessment, drawing on all available
sources. Part 1 of this paper includes some of the most significant views reached
by the JIC between 1999 and 2002.
Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)
The JIC is a Cabinet Committee with a history dating back to 1936. The JIC
brings together the Heads of the three Intelligence and Security Agencies
(Secret Intelligence Service, Government Communications Headquarters
and the Security Service), the Chief of Defence Intelligence, senior policy
makers from the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office,
the Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry and representatives
from other Government Departments and Agencies as appropriate. The JIC
provides regular intelligence assessments to the Prime Minister, other
Ministers and senior officials on a wide range of foreign policy and
international security issues. It meets each week in the Cabinet Office.

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