The UK Parliament is debating on whether or not to hold an enquiry into the UK participation in the Iraq war. The government have said that any defeat on its opposition will have grave consequences for UK troops. Instead they want to have an enquiry put off until the troops finally leave.
That sounds like a good idea. Everyone knows that we were wrong to go to war when we did using the dodgy, and knowingly incorrect, intelligence that we had. Big Tone doesn’t want this damaging his "legacy" before he leaves office next year.
Yet will our troops really be that effected by any enquiry held? They are mainly fighting foreign insurgents, backed by Syria and Iran, and not a great Iraqi revolt. I can’t see the Iraqi people rising enmass against us. They want peace and security and know that they need our presence there until they can fend for themselves.
What is a greater danger here is that the government have consistently opposed any democratic oversight by Parliament since the war started. Their view of democracy seems to be that they can do anything they want until elected out of office. They do not seem, or want, to be accountable to the people or our elected officials.
I am not a pacifist. I do believe that we need to use armed intervention on occasions to save lives and prevent dictators from running amuck. However I also believe that any such use of force is a last resort and should be carefully planned and things put in place to secure the peace.
In Iraq we failed to plan the campaign properly and had no idea what to do afterwards. Why target infrastructure, such as hospitals and power stations, that would be needed immediately after victory? Why disband the Iraqi army and police forces, why not just sack the Baathist elements?
If the government get their way then we may see no enquiry within the next 2-3 years. By when they maybe, and hopefully will be, out of power.