Bullying Fueled Overly-Optimistic ISIS Intel, Analysts Charge

October 7, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Intelligence reports that questioned the efficacy of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State fighters were reportedly questioned, watered-down, or distorted, in order to present a more “glass half full” view of the bombing campaign, new reporting reveals.

In an exclusive report published over the weekend, Daily Beast reporters Shane Harris and Nancy Youssef exposed the actual analysis that military leaders with U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, are being accused of altering in order to paint a “rosier picture” of its ongoing military strategy in Iraq and Syria.

Quoting unnamed defense officials and sources familiar with the analysts’ complaint, the Daily Beast said that analysts’ reports that questioned whether U.S. airstrikes against ISIS were “damaging the group’s finances and its ability to launch attacks” were heavily scrutinized compared to those that provided a more favorable view of the strikes.

The revelations follow earlier reporting which made the existence of the analysts’ complaints known, though the specific nature of the intelligence being altered was initially left vague.

According to Harris and Youssef:

Analysts described feeling “bullied” into reaching favorable conclusions and said they were compelled to “self-censor some of their reports.”

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