Wayne White

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Wayne White, an adjunct scholar with the Washington-based Middle East Institute [1], is a member Group Four: Strategic Environment of the Iraq Study Group. [2]

White was a "top Middle East analyst" for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research for 26 years until March 2005. [3][4] He was the Bureau's "principal Iraq analyst" from 2003-05 [5] and a "veteran" of the National Intelligence Estimate "process". [6]


On war with Iran

"'I've seen some of the planning ... You're not talking about a surgical strike. ... You're talking about a war against Iran' that likely would destabilize the Middle East for years, White told the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington think tank." [7]

White said that should President George W. Bush "opt to attack Iran, the region will turn from a controversy pot to a cauldron with Iraq at its core." [8]

On al-Quds forces in Iran and Iraq

Wayne White "said he did not think it was likely the Quds Force was supporting Sunni terrorists who were targeting Shiite political leaders and civilians, but stressed he did not know," Eli Lake reported January 3, 2007, for the New York Sun.

"'I have no doubt whatsoever that al-Quds forces are on the ground and active in Iraq,' he said. 'That's about it. I saw evidence that Moqtada al-Sadr was in contact with Sunni Arab insurgents in western Iraq, but I never saw evidence of Iran in that loop.'

"Mr. White added, 'One problem that we all have is that people consistently conduct analysis assuming that the actor is going to act predictably or rationally based on their overall mindset or ideology. Sometimes people don't.

"'One example of a mindset that may hinder analysis of Iranian involvement is the belief that Iran would never have any dealings with militant Sunni Arabs. But they allowed hundreds of Al Qaeda operatives to escape from Afghanistan across their territory in 2002,' he said," Lake wrote.


On Progress in Iraq

On December 8, 2005, Robin Wright and Saad Sarhan quoted White in the Washington Post as saying: "Progress is running far behind Iraqi expectations in virtually every area, ... In their view, most Iraqis are not seeing 'amazing progress.' All too many of them live in constant danger, with less electricity in many areas than under Saddam Hussein.'"

On the Iraq Study Group report and Iraq "slipping out of control"

"White, said the panel also faced the question of whether its advice may be coming too late to do much good," Paul Richter wrote in the November 30, 2006, Los Angeles Times.

"White said that he and other experts convinced the panel that it should complete its report by the end of this year, and not wait until next spring, the original deadline date, because of the deterioration of Iraq.

"Even a December release 'may not be in time,' said White. 'The situation on the ground is, frankly, slipping out of control.'"

On the Bush administration decision to "side with the Shia"

"Deciding to side with the Shia is probably the most inflammatory thing we could do right now," White, a member of the Iraq Study Group, told the New York Times, Richard Rawles reported January 8, 2007, for OpEdNews.com. "It would be a multi-headed catastrophe," White said.

On Nouri al-Maliki, Moqtada al-Sadr, and a troop surge in Iraq

"Maliki has assured the U.S. that 'sectarian instruction and interference' in Iraqi security forces will end, the senior White House officials said" and President Bush "'continues to think that Maliki is the right man for the job.' ... Outside the White House, however, doubts about Maliki run deep," CanWest reporter Sheldon Alberts wrote January 10, 2007.

"'Maliki is in way over his head'," White said, "[citing] Maliki’s ties to Sadr as most worrisome. ... 'Maliki associates with Shia political parties that are carrying out death squad operations,' he says. 'His ability to deliver on almost anything is highly questionable'," Alberts wrote.

"The Bush plan has been widely derided as 'too little, too late.' With the additional soldiers, the U.S. presence in Iraq will not quite top 155,000. For the first three years of the war, military experts complained that there simply weren't enough troops to pacify Iraq. 'As of a year ago, the surge would have added combat power to your force relative to its challenge,' says Wayne White, formerly the State Department's top intelligence expert on Iraq. 'Since then, we've had a virtual sectarian civil war opening up a second front.'"

White "said the sectarian violence in Iraq is so bad that even a massive surge of troops would have 'less than a 50-50' chance of success" [9] and called Baghdad "a Shiite-Sunni Stalingrad." [10]

On the execution of Saddam Hussein

"'He was a monster. He was the only Arab leader who went beyond the red line, which was genocide,' said Wayne White, a former State Department Iraq expert." [11]

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