16 June 2009

The Iraq inquiry: Will we get answers?


The above front page accurately sums up Brown’s statement.  There should be no surprise.  What else would you expect from a prime minister that talks the talk.…


…and delivers little.

Michael Evans in The Times lists the four questions that still remain unanswered:

1. At what stage did the Blair Government decide that removing Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was no longer the only objective and that regime-change was the real aim?

2. What was going on behind the scenes as the demand for a "second UN resolution" was abandoned?

3. What effort was put into post-invasion planning? What assumptions were made and how much real co-ordination was there between the US and British governments over how Iraq would be administered once the military phase of the campaign was over?

4. Why was the size of the British force in Iraq progressively reduced even though the troops there were coming under daily attack by an increasingly well-armed and well-trained extremist militia?

It is the 4th question that tells you why Brown himself wants the matter hushed up, which deals with an aspect of the war he was directly responsible for.

Another point.  The ill-judged decision made by Brown yesterday may well reignite the whole Iraq issue in the run up to the election.

This blog, Not the Iraq War Inquiry, has been started by a former officer of the forces.  This should make interesting reading in the coming months when most of us will not have a clue when the inquiry is meeting or what evidence is being considered.

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  1. Some answers (guesswork mainly):

    1. Decision on WMDs followed decision on regime change, which was probably on the US administration's agenda (albeit not at the top) prior to 9/11 anyway.

    2. Scrabbling to fix the existing resolutions to fit the case for war.

    3. Did what they were told by Rumsfeld - eagerly! Hoon's defence cuts of 2004 were a kick in the teeth and absolute madness. Also to free up troops for Afghanistan - where strategic initiative had been lost (and has never been regained).

    4. See 3 above - also the eventual move to back-room deals with Shia militas under the pretence of restored order in Basra. It worked...eventually, at great cost, and out of necessity rather than planning.

  2. In principle agreed. But it will not be what the inquiry will find, will it?