Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability—which was essentially destroyed in 1991—after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability—in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks—but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.
The former Regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam. Instead, his lieutenants understood WMD revival was his goal from their long association with Saddam and his infrequent, but firm, verbal comments and directions to them.
I print this because I came across a quote from Charles Duelfer in an article this morning. Apparently some tapes of Saddam talking to his "lieutenants" have been translated and released by our government. Here's what the article says:
Charles Duelfer, who led the official U.S. search for weapons of mass destruction, told ABC News the tapes show extensive deception (on Saddam's part) but don't prove that weapons were still hidden in Iraq at the time of the U.S.-led war in 2003.
"What they do is support the conclusion in the report which we made in the last couple of years, that the regime had the intention of building and rebuilding weapons of mass destruction, when circumstances permitted," he said.
Of course, this won't matter to the lefties. Bush lied, right? Facts are too inconvenient for the "reality-based community".