GSN sought ‘smoking guns’ in Iraq as build up to war gained momentum in 2002

In depth
Issue 1019 - 15 Jul 2016 | 20 minute read

The publication of Sir John Chilcot’s long-awaited The Report of the Iraq Inquiry has rekindled disturbing memories of the conflict for British and other stakeholders (see GSN view). Within 2m-plus words contained in the 12 volumes of his report, Chilcot exhaustively covers critical aspects of the conflict, both in the build up March 2003 – when the United Kingdom took part in an opposed invasion and full‑scale occupation of a sovereign state, for the first time since the Second World War – and after. Chilcot seeks to answer two basic questions: whether it was right and necessary to invade, and whether the UK could and should have been better prepared for what followed. GSN asked these questions in the period leading up to the conflict, without ever finding a definitive argument, other than that ‘regime change’ was the policy preference of George W Bush and his advisors in Washington and then premier Tony Blair in London.

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