Chilcot damning, but not a “hanging jury”


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Policymakers must not allow conclusions to distort fact it was an acceptable political decision to go to war and that we must be free to do so again if in the national interest

The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) – a London international affairs and security thinktank originally conceptualised as a response to the debate about the Iraq War raging in foreign policy circles – has welcomed the publication of the Chilcot Inquiry’s Report into the Iraq War, but cautioned against drawing the wrong conclusions from it which could have devastating consequences for our future national security and interests.

Having addressed the issue on BBC Daily Politics earlier, HJS Executive Director Dr Alan Mendoza commented: “The report makes clear that while Tony Blair may have exaggerated the evidence before him in order to give force to a political decision he wanted to make, he didn’t lie. Blair is a not a war criminal, and although critical of some of his decisions, the Inquiry did not turn into the ‘hanging jury’ that some of his critics wished for.

“Blair’s fundamental analysis that Saddam Hussein was never going to comply with UN regulations, and indeed that we would likely have ended up going to war to force his complicity later, if not in 2003, remains correct.

“We can learn a lot from the report’s conclusions as to how we make decisions in the future, but our leaders must still be able to use hard power as well as soft power in determining national interests, and in not being fearful of making difficult decisions.”


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