The war went wrong. Not the build-up

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Kitmarlowe, Feb 26, 2009.

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  1. Interesting comment in the Times today. I think the writer has a damm good point. Does the Government benefit by distracting us with smoke and mirrors over the start of the war?

    Regardless of the legality of the war I have a feeling that there's far more dirt as yet uncovered on the conduct of the war and afterwards at the polictical and strategic level? Would more planning and more troops have helped? Would a willingness to change the way we work have benefited us in the long run?
  2. He's wrong.

    War planning started in mid 2002, at least as far as I was involved (October 2002 for my own participation). I believe the decision to invade was taken in early to mid 2002, probably sealed at the Blair-Bush meeting in July.

    The Downing Street memo (which tells us all we really need to know) is here:

    Despite the fact that war planning started in 2002, and the decision to invade (with UK participation) was effectively taken in July 2002, other decisions were botched or taken at the last minute, in particular supply/logistics including UORs. This was because of the parallel campaign to make a case to win public support for an invasion, which centred on developing the WMD argument and ensuring that UN approval was either obtained or bypassed.

    I was involved in a UOR which was sat on until after the vote in Parliament. The software upgrade was delivered effectively after the war had ended. We managed to work around it by manual hacking but it wasn't guaranteed by the contractor.

    Add to that the "Iraq Lite" rubbish and the complete failure to plan for post-invasion occupation.

    It's not only the legality of the war that is in question - the fundamental defence planning assumptions were flawed, the timetable was flawed, and this has cost lives and led to strategic failure (the effective handover of Basra, the failures in Afghanistan).
  3. So what you're saying is that in a lot of areas the paperwork side of things had been done, saying sorting out how much food and water to source but the actual doing, that is to say getting contracts signed to deliver said food and water, was botched
  4. It was botched because Ministers didnt give the say so. I have heard of several cases where SofS (allegedly) was told that to meet timelines he had to give approval by X - but he failed to do so. Blame lies at the very top on this issue, and not with the men and women (both forces and civvy) who worked incredibly hard to support the force.
  5. Mr Happy

    Mr Happy LE Moderator

    not sure what the point of that article is, it sort of meanders across several different subjects and concludes with nothing.

    Anyway having no dessies or cba/ecba and crossing the LOD/SL with 1 mag of ten rounds sounds to me like a poor start and everything went downhill from there.

    What I really object to is this sort of given statement that we've done badly in OBUA and the yanks have done well and are the new masters. Last time I checked Fullaja was reduced to rubble and Iraq smashed and they lost thousands of guys doing it whilst taking out tens of thousands of civvies and we're supposed to be the B list OBUA guys...

    Granted, from the great press room in the sky, individual skills don't matter and the ability to conduct ops with civil aid backing it up is a better win (e.g. US budgets) but I wonder if any journo's understand it...
  6. Another problem with the Post invasion reconstruction was the issue of raising the plans with the allegedly alcoholic and certainly gobshitey and anti-war Development Secretary at DfID. No prizes for gusessing that one then.
  7. My reading of this is that the war was illegal and it is wrong to downplay the enormity of this fact. It must inform future British foreign policy and politicians. There is an urgent need for an inquiry into why we went to war.

    I have some insight into an attempt to take Geoff Hoon to Court, but it was not acted on by CPS. It is my understanding that he might well have ignored UORs leading to the loss of life, that was the claim made against him. It remains unanswered. It is virtually impossible to attain political accountability in the UK.

    Finally, from a slow start/poor planning, the US did show us how to do it. Our reputation took a significant knock over what happened in Basra. Let's hope, we have learned the lessons. Looking at Afg I am far from convinced.
  8. I am not sure the war was illegal, and I say this on the basis that I am not aware of the ICC or any other court of similar standing having ruled upon it. The UK government continues to state that it acted in accordance with international law and the various UNSCRs etc that pertained to the situation at the time. Until the matter is ruled upon than stating that the war was illegal remains at best an opinion and not fact.

    The intervention into Kosovo was I believe illegal however, not because it was ruled illegal, but because there was no supporting international legal framework (UNSCRs etc) and international law explicity precluded at the time intervening in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. Not being a lawyer then I am not sure how international law works, but if precedence counts (as it does in UK law) then if anything the precedence set by the Kosvo intervention would probably strengthen the case of the Coalition for the legality of the Iraq intervention?

    Give it another 70years when all the key players are dead and it will be interesting to see what is released into the public domain and how history will view things; I suspect that most of our suspicions of either set agendas or rank incompetence will be confirmed!
  9. What a brilliant idea!
  10. Just been announced on BBC news that the war in Iraq is likely to be declared over tomorrow. The David Miliband is out there now and also wants to visit the troops.

    No link at the mo.
  11. UK Iraq planning began in late June 2002. I was there.........................
  12. I seem to remember General Wesley Clark's book about the war - that there were clear plans how to defeat Iraq's military, but when the question of nation building came up, nobody wanted to know - it was passed from department to department without anyone wanting to take responsibility.
  13. The invasion was actually a success.

    It all went tits-up when the Americans summarily dismantled the Iraqi state infrastructure by dismissing teachers, the police and judges to name a few.

    An act of criminal irresponsibility.

    Clearly no-one in the State Department or the Pentagon took any notice of how the Allies used even Nazis (closely monitored) to govern Germany after WW2.
  14. Any government who delibaratly lies to its own people to go to war is a bloody dangeres government, and the purpetators shoud be hung.
  15. as well as the EINSATZGRUPPEN !!!!!