Colin Powell: U.N. Speech “Was a Great Intelligence Failure”

Powell’s U.N. speech helped elevate Zarqawi’s status, and within months, he was rapidly gaining followers in Iraq, fomenting sectarian warfare and laying the groundwork for the organization that would become ISIS

thought we had made the case, and there was pretty good reaction to it for a few weeks. And then suddenly, the CIA started to let us know that the case was falling apart — parts of the case were falling apart. It was deeply disturbing to me and to the president, to all of us, and to the Congress, because they had voted on the basis of that information.
The CIA was stunned, and the commanders in the field out there were stunned, because this was the solution to the security problem. We were going to reconstitute the Iraqi army so that they could secure their country, and instead we dismissed them, and we turned loose all of these trained military people who might have weapons with them and knew where weapons were.
The answer was, the decision has been made by the people on the ground, Bremer, and so we will not overturn his decision; that would be very awkward. So we lived with it.
Moving on to ISIL

Between what ISIS has done to these cities, and then kind of move back into the countryside, and what our ground forces have done to these cities, and what airpower has done to these cities, it’s creating a terrible situation. Homes are being destroyed. Schools are being destroyed. I know it’s for the purpose of going after ISIS, but I’m concerned that it is also creating a flood of refugees that makes you wonder, are we fighting the right battle?
A long interview, much more in the article.