10 Questions To Ask Before Going To War
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10 Questions To Ask Before Going To War

The Chilcot Inquiry has given the nation a chance to reflect and learn a number of important lessons from the Iraq War. However, as its 2.6...

10 Questions To Ask Before Going To War
The Chilcot Inquiry has given the nation a chance to reflect and learn a number of important lessons from the Iraq War.
 
However, as its 2.6 million words might seem a bit overwhelming, here’s a list of 10 questions policy makers should ask themselves before committing Britain to war again in the future. 
 
1. Where is this war? Can you get there easily?
 

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The distance to and harsh climate within the Middle East caused logistical difficulties for military planners of the Iraq war
 
2. Is this your only war at the moment?
 

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British (and American) troops were still in Afghanistan when the Iraq War was launched (as some still are today)
 
3. Is the intelligence strong and reliable?
 

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President Bush warned against waiting for final proof of WMDs in Iraq that he said "could come in the form of a mushroom cloud"
 
4. Who's going with you?
 

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French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder became the most vocal European opponents of the war in Iraq
 
5. Does the UN say you can do it?
 

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US Secretary of State Colin Powell testifies about Iraqi weapons programs. The organisation considered the war in Iraq to be illegal
 
6. Does Joe Public think you should do it?
 

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There were massive protests around the world before the Iraq War,  and the BBC estimated that one million people attended the largest one in London (picture taken by William N Connolley); but according to YouGov, 54%of the British population supported going to war in Iraq at the time
 
7. Does the Cabinet agree with you?
 

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Gordon Brown, though widely believed to have privately opposed the war, told the Chilcot Inquiry that he actually supported it, though with some caveats
 
8. Does most of Parliament agree with you?
 

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Parliament voted 412 to 149 votes in favour of the war, with the Liberal Democrats and a quarter of Labour MPs voting 'no' (picture: Mike Gimelfarb)
 
9. Have you got the right equipment?
 
Comedians John Bird and John Fortune lampooned Britain's lack of preparedness in the run-up to the Iraq war
 
10.  Have you got a proper plan for when the fighting stops?
 

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Car bombs became an ever-present mark of the insurgency against coalition forces, and then in the sectarian violence that engulfed Iraq in the years after the 2003 invasion, leading to the rise of Daesh
 
Cover picture: MSGT James M Bowman, USAF