The "Neocon core," a dozen or so neoconservatives with Richard Perle as their linchpin, worked together in various incarnations for as long as 30 years to realize their American foreign policy goals through the assertion of military power. In 2003, they helped propel the U.S. to war in Iraq. A veteran CIA officer who coordinated the intelligence community's assessments regarding Iraq said that "this case is markedly different from anything I've seen in the past. . . . There's well established machinery for this . . . . In Iraq such machinery never got used."