Dysfunction and Decline: Lessons Learned from Inside Al-Qa'ida in Iraq is based in part on newly declassified documents drawn from the Department of Defense's Harmony database. Most of the documents released with this report have never been seen before; a few have been previously released by media organizations partially redacted, still others are versions of messages released publicly by al-Qa'ida or other insurgents. The documents released with this report are being released in their entirety. Readers should be aware that analyzing such data is fraught with risk. Documents in the Harmony database were collected on the battlefield unscientifically. There is no way to know how representative documents captured by U.S. forces are of the larger body of information produced by al-Qa'ida or other insurgents. Likewise, the vast database in which they are stored is imperfect and virtually impossible to search systematically. Readers and researchers should therefore be wary of conclusions drawn solely from these documents. Captured documents offer unique insight into al-Qa'ida's decisionmaking process, but they are most valuable when contextualized with information drawn from open sources. Dysfunction and Decline is the latest Combating Terrorism Center report to do just that.