The Bush administration moved toward war in Iraq with little challenge from foreign policy insiders. Many actively supported the president's desire to unseat Saddam Hussein. Others were persuaded by colleagues and friends in the intelligence community that Iraq posed a real threat to the United States.
Kenneth Pollack was among those well-informed, knowledgeable members of the foreign policy establishment. The former CIA analyst and National Security Council staff member is now director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
He lent his expertise to supporting the case for war with Iraq in his book The Threatening Storm, published in 2002. Pollack re-examines the arguments for war in an article in the current Atlantic Monthly.
He tells NPR's Liane Hansen that mistakes were made by the intelligence community, and that Iraq's weapons programs were not as advanced as experts feared. He says Saddam's "inexplicable" behavior in the days before the U.S. assault that drove him from power helped mislead the Western intelligence community. But Pollack also says Bush administration officials practiced "creative omission" in their public use of intelligence information.