The 2003 Iraq war led by the United Nations coalition, began with the purpose of getting rid of weapons of mass destruction, which according to the USA posed a risk for both the USA and its allies. However, the war led to many questions being raised.
This led to the Iraq war enquiry, known as the Chilcot Enquiry – this enquiry was run by Sir John Chilcot. This was a British led enquiry to investigate the nation’s role in the Iraq War. The report was published on 06 July 2016 – 7 years after the enquiry had initially been announced.
The report itself had a very condemning verdict on the decision of the UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who had committed British troops to the US – President Bush’s led invasion. The key points from the report that came out are as follows:
- Chilcot’s report points out that Blair joined the US invasion of Iraq but he had not exhausted all the peaceful options that were available – the military action taken was not a last resort action.
- Not only Bush, but Blair also exaggerated the threat that was posed by the Iraqi regime. They made a strong case for Military build-up for the invasion but did not consider the warnings or the consequences that would arise from this military action. He also did not consider points made by the intelligence services and used his own initiative to support Bush. This was strongly criticised. Tony Blair had already promised George, W. Bush, 8 months prior to the war that he would back the war in Iraq if it took place. Proof of this was available in the six-page long memo written to Bush amongst other letters that came to light later.
- Although the Chilcot Report was unable to reach a conclusion of the legality of the war, as it was not within its remit to do this, it strongly abhorred how the decision was made. According to the report no formal record was made for the decision to go to war nor were any precise grounds given to go to war.
- The report also made it clear that there was actually no imminent threat from Iraq – even if sanctions had been lifted it would have taken Iraq five years to produce enough weapons. Moreover, Bush did not even listen to the UK’s advice on how to oversee Iraq after the war was finished. The enquiry heavily criticised how the US disassembled the security apparatus of Saddam Hussain’s army. The entire invasion was a failure. What was worse was that the British intelligence produced “flawed” information – they did not consider the fact that Saddam Hussain had gotten rid of the mass weapons of destruction, which in reality he had.
- What was more concerning was that the report found that the UK was not equipped for what happened after the war. The ministry of defence was slow to react to the threats on ground level leading to a lot of troops deaths and this was criticised. There were no plans on how to pacify the people of Iraq and there was no post-invasion strategy in place as Blair had not even bothered to identify ministers that would take on the task of post war planning and strategy.
In conclusion, with all these failures having taken place it can be seen that the War on Iraq was a failure. The destruction to lives, houses and livelihood has not even been taken into consideration in this article. We have touched on how badly Blair judged the situation and pushed the UK into a war that was not justified in anyway.