This will be on the test:
With little fanfare the United States has revised its assessment of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
Officials said the U.S. intelligence community has determined that Iran has become capable of enriching uranium and completing the nuclear fuel cycle.
In 2005, a CIA study assessed that Iran would require five to 10 years to develop its first nuclear weapon. The assessment said Iran, still highly dependent on foreign suppliers, lacked numerous components and technology required for full-scale production of enriched uranium.
It will be interesting to see if a few years from now we will be treated to another round of hair-rending, tooth-gnashing flails over how they were pressured to “sex up” the assessment. The most courageous of them all will no doubt be a shoe-in to be an advisor on national security policy for a leading presidential candidate.
My cynicism about politics aside . . . that we haven’t seen a breathless article in the Post about Dick Cheney standing on an NIO’s desk with a 28-gauage over-under is probably a testament to the legitimacy of the assessment and the lack of external influence. Inasmuch as all of these efforts are bland mush designed to please the widest variety of palettes, both sides of the spectrum should be able to rest assured that this is the best we can do based on what we know.
Of course the rub is that “what we know” might not be all that much.