World After Iraq: Robert L. Hutchings, Chairman, National Intelligence Council to the Princeton University Washington Seminar, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC, April 8, 2003 [open pdf - 21KB]
This speech summarizes findings from the National Intelligence Council's conference devoted to the world after Iraq. The summarization remarks are strictly from the viewpoint of Robert L. Hutchings, as some of the findings and discussions remain classified. Just after the terrorist attacks September 11, 2001, the NIC undertook a similar stocktaking and forecast. Most of the conclusions in the published report hold up pretty well. What that report aptly termed a "clash of civilizations within Muslim countries" has been manifest in both anti-American violence and new pressures within moderate Arab regimes. The report noted laconically that "consensus among the United States and its international allies about the best means to deter asymmetric threats from nontraditional adversaries is not likely to be achieved soon" - another judgment that has proved all too accurate. Perhaps the most important judgment concerned the potentially historic shift in Russian foreign policy toward strategic alignment with the United States. This assessment, together with the forecast of a domestically preoccupied, less confrontational China, hinted at but did not explicitly forecast a realignment of the international system. Mr. Hutchings continues to discuss the realignment possibilities, including the pattern of Franco-German-Russian collaboration seen over Iraq, Russia's orientation which is still in flux, and China's evenhandedness through the whole situation. Much will depend on U.S. actions after hostilities in Iraq. Mr. Hutchings goes on to discuss some critical issues to be faced in the future.