The long awaited report of the Chilcot Commission was made public on July 6th, after six years of investigation and testimony. The Commission had been strongly criticized for the lengthy delay. (Linda Bilmes spoke to the Chilcot Commission in 2012). However, the findings could not have been more devastating. The main finding of the report is that the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was NOT NECESSARY .
Key conclusions | The Iraq Inquiry
- There was “no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein” in March 2003 and military action was “not a last resort”
- The UK “chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted”
- Tony Blair’s note to George Bush on July 28, 2002, saying UK would be with the US “whatever”, was the moment Britain was set on a path to war
- Judgements about the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”
- Tony Blair told attorney general Lord Goldsmith Iraq had committed breaches of UN Security Council resolution 1441 without giving evidence to back up his claim
- Ministry of Defence was “slow” to react to clear need for better equipment and it was not clear whose job it was to do so
- Planning for post-war Iraq was “wholly inadequate”
- Blair government “failed to achieve its stated objectives”
- The legality of the war can only be decided by an international court
Read the executive summary here along with the statement of Sir John Chilcot:
AND SEE THE GRAPHICS
October 27, 2015: In a wide-ranging interview with Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now”, Joe Stiglitz was asked about the costs of the wars. He notes that our estimate of the number of veterans who would be disabled in some way was far too low — its now 50% of those who served qualifying for lifetime disability benefits. This adds another $1 trillion to our estimates – leading to a minimum of $4 trillion for war costs, but probably much higher.