What happened? The Iraq Survey Group was the US-led team dispatched to find Saddam's purported weapons of mass destruction after the US invasion, led by David Kay. The group found evidence of low level biological weapons research and Mr. Kay resigned in early 2004. In September of that year, the group issued the Duelfer Report on the findings of its 18 months search. It found that Saddam had ended nuclear weapons research in 1991, and that biological and chemical weapons research had ended in 1995, though it found that Saddam would have liked to obtain WMD's, were it possible.
The projections: Many in the Bush Administration, including the president, argued that the US would successfully bring democracy to Iraq and in the process, set off a cascade of democracy in the middle east. In a November 2003 speech marking the anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, a US government fund focused on international democracy promotion, President Bush said: This is a massive and difficult undertaking -- it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.