The Trial of Saddam Hussein and The Fallout of The War

The Trial of Saddam Hussein

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The fallout from the regime change in Iraq

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ten Years On

Ten years have elapsed since the start of the Iraq war.

Here are some sobering statistics, at least 116,000 Iraqi civilians and more than 4,800 coalition troops died in Iraq between the outbreak of war in 2003 and the US withdrawal in 2011, while the total cost to the US could reach $3 trillion according to new estimates.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Independence Anniversary

As per @pencilbloke:
"On this day in 1932 Iraq gained independence from the United Kingdom, thus ushering in a new era of stability and peaceful prosperity etc."
Quite!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

US Troops Leave Iraq

Yesterday President Barack Obama spoke at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and paid tribute to the US troops who had served in the Iraq war.

He sated that Iraq is now sovereign, stable and self-reliant; and noted that the future of Iraq is now in the hands of the Iraqi people.

Today the US Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, said that "the dream of an independent and sovereign Iraq is now a reality".

What is the legacy of the war?

- Corruption
- Instability
- Crippled armed forces (eg the airforce will not be capable of defending the borders until 2015)
- Meddling by the Iranians

Mission accomplished!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

War Over

President Barack Obama has announced that the 9 year war in Iraq is finally over. All American troops will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of December this year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Lost War

Stephen M. Walt sums up the Iraq debacle succinctly:

"The United States and its allies lost the war in Iraq and are going to lose the war in Afghanistan...

By 'lose,' I mean we will eventually withdraw our military forces without having achieved our core political objectives, and with our overall strategic position weakened
."

The wasted lives, the devastation, the financial cost all were for nothing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

How To Lose $6.6BN

When the US belatedly realised that it would have to rebuild Iraq, after the 2003 invasion, it came up with a plan to transport billions of Dollars in cash via Hercules cargo planes (each plane could carry around $2.4BN).

Many years, audits and investigations later the US Defence Department cannot account for what happened to around $6.6BN of that cash.

This remarkable admission of fiscal incompetence comes at a time when the US (primarily thanks to the wars in the Middle East) is broke.

The Los Angeles Times reports that for the first time federal auditors are suggesting that some/all of the cash may have been stolen. Given that cash (as opposed to credit or capital equipment) was used in such huge quantities, it is hardly surprising that it was stolen.

Quite why the US thought that cash (as opposed to credit or capital equipment) was the best way to rebuild a war torn country in the Middle East beggars belief.

Iraq is none to happy with the situation and Iraqi officials are threatening to go to court to reclaim the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the UN's oil-for-food program.

Given that the US is now broke, and in danger of defaulting on its debt, it will be interesting to see if that claim succeeds.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Gordon Brown Accused in WikiLeaks Cables

Cables obtained by WikiLeaks and published by Scotland on Sunday accuse the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown of pulling British troops out of Iraq to improve his chances of winning a general election, despite warnings from the UK's allies that withdrawal would represent a victory for terrorists.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Libya Is Not Iraq

Reuters reports that the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has stated that the involvement in Libya will not turn into Iraq style conflict.

This despite the fact that Richard Dannatt, former head of the British army, has noted parallels with the campaign in Iraq.

Hague is quoted:

"It's very different from Iraq because of course in the case of Iraq there were very large numbers of ground forces deployed from Western nations.

That's clearly not the case and it's not going to be the case in Libya. It's right to point to the need for a political process when Gaddafi goes, and that of course is something we discuss with the National Transitional Council in Libya.

They have put forward their plans for that, for an interim government including figures from the regime, for the holding of elections and those are the right plans to put forward
."

That's all very well, maybe. However, it may well take a lot more resources/military commitment to remove Gaddafi than are already in "play" there.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Final Pullout

The last contingent of British troops finally left Iraq this weekend, more than eight years after the invasion.

Was this all worth it?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Campbell's Claims Contradicted

The Independent reports that in written evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Maj-Gen Laurie (a former intelligence official) rejected Alastair Campbell's claim that the dossier was not intended to make the case for war:

"This was exactly its purpose and these very words were used."

Where to now for the Chilcot inquiry, given that "star" witnesses (eg Blair and Campbell) have given evidence that contradicts Maj-Gen Laurie?

Will they be recalled?