July 6, 2016

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Chilcot report: Tony Blair’s Iraq War case not justified –
Tony Blair overstated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, sent ill-prepared troops into battle and had “wholly inadequate” plans for the aftermath, the UK’s Iraq War inquiry has said. Chairman Sir John Chilcot said the 2003 invasion was not the “last resort” action presented to MPs and the public. There was no “imminent threat” from Saddam – and the intelligence case was “not justified”, he said. Mr Blair apologised for any mistakes made but not the decision to go to war. Sir John, the ex-civil servant who chaired the inquiry, describes the Iraq War as an intervention that went “badly wrong” with consequences still being felt to this day – and he set out lessons to be learned for future conflicts. His report, which is 2.6 million words, does not make a judgement on whether Mr Blair or his ministers were in breach of international law. [BBC]
Tony_BlairTony Blair in 2014

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Chilcott Report – errors in political and military decision-making in going to war in Iraq:

  • UK military commanders made “over-optimistic assessments” of their capabilities which had led to “bad decisions”
  • There was “little time” to properly prepare three military brigades for deployment in Iraq. The risks were neither “properly identified nor fully exposed” to ministers, resulting in “equipment shortfalls”
  • Policy on the Iraq invasion was made on the basis of flawed intelligence assessments. It was not challenged, and should have been
  • Mr Blair overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq; and the UK’s relationship with the US does not require unconditional support

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