Paul Rogers is professor of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England. He has been writing a weekly column on global security on openDemocracy since 26 September 2001
Some extracts from Professor Paul Rogers’ latest column Iraq’s danger signals:
The most striking breach in this evolving story-line was the release on 3 December 2007 of the national-intelligence estimate (NIE), a collation of the most up-to-date assessments on current security situations and threats from the US's sixteen intelligence agencies.
The latest NIE report - Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities - concluded "with high confidence" that Iran had abandoned its plans to build a nuclear weapon in 2003 as a result of international pressure, and was unlikely to have enough enriched uranium to resume its plans until 2010-15.
Its publication was a severe blow to leading US neo-conservatives who had invested so much effort in depicting Iran as an immediate danger.
The unexpected revision of judgment about Iran's nuclear ambitions produced a heated response from hawkish commentators. There is little doubt, however, that the assessment makes it far more difficult for the more intransigent elements in Washington to persuasively advocate a military assault on Iran in the near future - and perhaps before the end of Bush's presidential term at the end of 2008.
Moreover, the report effectively undercuts the case for increased sanctions on Iran, with Russia and China able to exert influence in the UN Security Council influence to counter any fresh US move in this direction.
(1) Bush's lies about Iran - déjà vu denied?
(2) George Bush's farewell gift to Israel?
(3) Will Bush parcel out Iran toward the four winds of heaven?
(4) Lies & power behind US invasion of Iraq
(5) Anything for dear old Israel
(6) Why President Bush is so against Iran