GOP sees Iraq assessment as too vague

May 26, 2007 at 11:12 AM

WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Congressional Republicans are downplaying the value of a 2003 intelligence assessment predicting widespread violence in U.S-occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.

The assessment released Friday by a Senate committee seemed to hit the bull's eye in its predictions of insurgency and friction with Iran; however Republicans said the report was no "crystal ball."

The Washington Post said Sen. Christopher Bond and fellow GOP committee members said in a statement the assessment "lacked detail or specificity that would have guided military planners."

Nevertheless, the assessments provided to the Bush administration prior to the Iraq invasion warned that the operation could stoke militant Islam and provoke Iran into taking steps to assert its own influence in the region.

The newspaper pointed out the assessments failed to predict continuing struggles getting Iraq's oil industry up to speed and provide basic services such as electricity and sanitation.

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