The long-awaited official report into Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War has delivered a scathing verdict on Government ministers’ justification, planning and conduct of a military intervention which “went badly wrong, with consequences to this day”.
Chilcot’s damning verdict on Blair’s Iraq War: ‘WMD threat was NOT justified’, military action ‘was NOT a last resort’ and invasion was based on ‘flawed intelligence’
Tony Blair’s reputation was today lacerated by the Iraq War report as he was accused of twisting intelligence about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein to justify an invasion.
After seven years of deliberations, the Chilcot report found that the former prime minister overplayed evidence about the dictator’s weaponry and ignored peaceful means to send troops into the country.
In a devastating set of conclusions, Sir John found Blair presented the case for war with ‘a certainty which was not justified’ based on ‘flawed’ intelligence about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
It also said Blair had ‘overestimated’ his ability to influence US president George W Bush and the way the legal basis was established was branded ‘far from satisfactory’ and bypassed the UN and undermined the international system.
Unveiling his 2.6 million-word report into the UK’s most controversial military engagement since the end of the Second World War, Sir John said: ‘We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.
‘We have also concluded that the judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were presented with a certainty that was not justified.
‘Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were under-estimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate. The Government failed to achieve its stated objectives.’
How the UK messed up Iraq: what the Chilcot Inquiry says about post-conflict planning
The Iraq Inquiry dismisses claims that the aftermath of the invasion could not have been foreseen. It describes the planning and preparations for the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein were ‘wholly inadequate’. In his statement, Sir John said that ‘despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated’.
Tony Blair deliberately exaggerated threat from Iraq, Chilcot report finds