What is Chilcot Report It is the result of a seven-year inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 Iraq War.
Background The Chilcot inquiry launched in 2009 as British troops withdrew from Iraq.
What did the report actually find? It raises serious question on Tony Blair (PM of Britain at that time).
Counterargument of Tony Blair He argued that he had acted in good faith.
Any lesson learnt from Iraq tragedy? The big powers refused to learn any lesson from the Iraq tragedy.
Effect of such war There is no disputing the ruthlessness of these dictators.
What is Chilcot Report
- Chilcot Report is the result of a seven-year inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 Iraq War, which led to the downfall of Saddam Hussein.
- The Chilcot inquiry launched in 2009 as British troops withdrew from Iraq, tasked with investigating the run-up to the 2003 US-led invasion and the subsequent occupation.
- Tens of thousands of Iraqis died during the conflict and the brutal sectarian war that followed, while 179 British soldiers also lost their lives — many of whose relatives are still searching for answers.
- The invasion was controversial at the time as it did not have explicit approval from the UN Security Council, while claims that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction proved unfounded.
- Although he stepped down in 2007, Blair remains reviled by much of Britain for the conflict, which is viewed as at best misguided, and as worst a war crime.
What did the report actually find?
It raises serious question on Tony Blair (PM of Britain at that time)
- Premeditated: It revealed he’d agreed to invade Iraq at least eight months before getting backing from the UK Parliament, when he told US President George W Bush “I will be with you, whatever”.
- Misguided and misinformed: Sir Chilcot criticised Mr Blair for making his decision based on “flawed intelligence”. Mr Blair famously told Parliament that Saddam Hussein could deploy weapons of mass destruction against the West with the push of a button. However, the report says that was misguided and there was no imminent threat at the time of the invasion.
- Iraq war was not illegal: Sir Chilcot says Blair didn’t exhaust his diplomatic options before going to war, but he stopped short of saying it was illegal.
- The legal basis for military action was “far from satisfactory”, the report notes. In taking this action the U.K. “undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council.”
- The report is equally critical on military planning, establishing that three military brigades were not properly prepared, and the risks not “properly identified nor fully exposed”
- Planning and preparations for the post-Saddam period were “wholly inadequate”.The U.K. government “failed to achieve the stated objectives it had set itself in Iraq.” As a consequence of this, more than 200 British citizens died, and by July 2009, 150,000 Iraqis had died and more than one million were displaced, figures that continue to rise till date i.e Sir Chilcot says the chaos in Iraq which followed the invasion should have been foreseen. “UK planning and preparation for the post-conflict phase of operations, which rested on the assumption that the UK would be able quickly to reduce its military presence in Iraq and deploy only a minimal number of civilians, were wholly inadequate.
Counterargument of Tony Blair
- He argued that he had acted in good faith based on intelligence that suggested that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) — intelligence he admitted that “turned out to be wrong”.
Any lesson learnt from Iraq tragedy?
- The big powers refused to learn any lesson from the Iraq tragedy. Even after it was clear that the invasion was disastrous, the West forced another regime change in Libya in 2011, repeating the same mistakes committed in Iraq and creating another haven for extremists.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron, who voted for the Iraq war in 2003, wanted military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a proposal rejected by the House of Commons in 2013. Though the U.S. and the U.K. shelved the plan to directly attack Syria, they continued supporting anti-regime rebels in the country, worsening its security situation and further helping terrorist groups such as the IS and Jabhat al-Nusra.
Effect of such war
- There is no disputing the ruthlessness of these dictators. But toppling them through wars or weakening their regimes through proxy civil wars is far more dangerous, as these crisis-hit nations would recount.
- The Iraq war set off the contemporary chaos in West Asia and North Africa, and no one knows where it will all end.
- The Iraq Inquiry is not a court and was not set up to make a legal case against Mr. Blair and individuals in his government who took wrong decisions that led to such disastrous consequences.
- Mr. Blair has tried to brazen it out, and indeed feels so sure of his actions that he even claims he can look the nation and the families of the British soldiers who died “in the eye”.
- But the painful reality of life after an unjust war is an experience that Iraq’s people suffer every day. There is no justice that can undo what military action conducted on false premises against their country in 2003 has wrought.