Thursday, 7 July 2016

Chilcot Report

I wonder who has read it all, already? Well, everyone who is mentioned in the report and the PM.

Luckily there is a twelve page summary which all the news agencies have used on day one of the published report. Two things are very clear, Sir John does not accuse Tony Blair of deceiving the country on the day war was declared, but he does not hold back in a lot of other areas that are now going to allow a whole host of more questions to be asked.

One of the areas was the idea that we knew very little before we went in, Sir John shows with evidence that knowledge of the factions and their behaviour, the Iranian involvement and Al-Qaeda were well documented before the start. He does not hold back on the state of the equipment or lack of it again backed up with evidence that the British Army were very poorly turned out and loss of life could be linked to this. One thing to mention here is that the military experts have said that the politicians took a short term view and this was reflected in the state of equipment supplied.

He also highlights that the intelligence was floored and more importantly it was not rigorously and independently challenged and should have been.

One of Sir John's comments as he outlined his report was "we all agree that military action is the last resort, however it appears that when the war started even without the benefit of hindsight in 2003 we had not reached the last resort", this leads me to think buried deep in the report there are conclusions or even recommendations that show more diplomacy could have taken place before the troops were sent in.

Sir John refers to sofa government on behalf of Tony Blair were a lot of decisions were made without the full knowledge of the cabinet and nearly hinted at a presidential style of government, could this be one of the lessons that could be learned or does it still happen today?

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