Declassified intelligence reports available here highlight five important factors that were brought to the attention of the Bush Administration when the Iraqi adventure was contemplated. They should have been considered . There should have been contingency planning and caution. Similar warnings are in effect over the consequences of the proposed immigration amnesty. Do not expect more caution this time. Would you have ignored these warnings and not bother to plan? Just in case?
• Establishing "an Iraqi democracy would be a long, difficult and probably turbulent process, with potential for backsliding into Iraq's tradition of authoritarianism."
• Unless the occupying forces prevented it, "score settling would occur throughout Iraq between those associated with Saddam's regime and those who have suffered most under it."
• Among the majority Shiite population, which Saddam had kept out of power, a political form of Islam could take root, "particularly if economic recovery were slow and foreign troops remained in the country for a long period."
• Iran would probably try to shape the post-Hussein Iraq, in a bid to position itself as a regional power.
• Al Qaeda would probably take advantage of the war to increase its terrorist activities, and the lines between it and other terrorist groups "could become blurred."