Chilcot report: key points from the Iraq inquiry
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: July 11th, 2016
The Chilcot inquiry has delivered a damning verdict on the decision by former prime minister Tony Blair to commit British troops to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Chilcot finds that Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by the Iraqi regime as he sought to make the case for military action to MPs and the public in the buildup to the invasion. The then prime minister disregarded warnings about the potential consequences of military action, and relied too heavily on his own beliefs, rather than the more nuanced judgments of the intelligence services. Tony Blair wrote to George W Bush eight months before the Iraq invasion to offer his unqualified backing for war well before UN weapons inspectors had complete their work, saying: I will be with you, whatever. The report says that between early 2002 and March 2003 Blair was told that, post-invasion, Iraq could degenerate into civil war. Chilcot rejects Blairs claim that the subsequent chaos and sectarian conflict could not have been predicted. Before the war, Blair had said that the US-led invasion coalition would try to minimise civilian casualties. As the war and occupation unfolded, however, the MoD made only a broad estimate of how many Iraqis were being killed. More time was devoted to which department should have responsibility for the issue than was spent on finding out the number. The governments main interest was to rebut accusations that coalition forces were responsible for the deaths of large numbers of Iraqis.
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