New NIE on Iran: Answers or Questions?
The latest National Intelligence Estimate, Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities, asserts this time that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program back in 2003. A friend of mine has Five Questions Concerning the Latest NIE. I've got a few more questions, as Tom surely does too, but that will have to wait for now.
Until then, just keep in mind that NIE's can be quite bi-polar. They are not definitive Holy Scripture, whether one agrees with any particular estimate or not. Recall that one NIE asserted that al-Qaeda was not the major threat in Iraq and was subsequently supplanted by an NIE that asserted the exact opposite. NIE's are Intelligence Community turf wars battled out on paper and within rooms in usually heated debate. Eventually, one view wins out over another, often due to the weight of the individuals who hold them rather than actual accuracy of sources and information.
With that in mind, ask yourself why Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was in North Korea to watch every rogue state's weapons farm team hold an intramural scrimmage with their first nuclear bomb test detonation.
More on this NIE later.