The Iraq Inquiry and Report

civil-servant-john-chilcotThe controversy about the Iraqi war came some time later, when the Iraq Inquiry and its following report elaborated by Civil Servant John Chilcot had their repercussions in public opinion. The inquiry was put in place as a measure of the Privy Council to verify the causes and consequences of the involvement of the UK in this conflict. It was made public in 2009; six years after the prime minister had agreed to join the war.

The actions of Prime Minister Tony Blair, Foreign Affairs Secretary Jack Straw, and Attorney General Lord Goldsmith were scrutinized. Perhaps the reason why there was no public access to this document for so long was that it makes them lose favor with the general public. According to the documents produced by Chilcot, there wasn’t enough evidence that weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, or that this country posed a direct threat to the UK.

Focusing on Straw’s involvement, there are worries about the way he conducted this case. In order to support the pro-war argument, Straw used the September Dossier on Iraq (also known as the Dodgy Dossier) which turned out to be partially plagiarized from a student. Allegedly, the dossier had gathered information from the national and international intelligence bodies that definitely proved the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that these weapons only required 45 minutes to be activated. Later on, no such thing was found in Iraq.

Another concern with Straw’s procedures is the fact that, as Foreign Secretary, he did not try to seek pacific alternatives to solve the issue beforehand. Moreover, he did not consider the war’s overall results in the long run. It is widely believed nowadays that this poorly sustained war from 2003 is somehow related to the more recent ISIS terrorist attacks.

Gordon Brown succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister in 2007. In a speech, Brown had somehow committed to repair the mistakes of his predecessor by evaluating this report with the aim of helping the government “learn the lesson” from involving in a war that had no substantial basis.