Chilcot: 'This isn't a sixth form common room, this is the real business of running the country', says historian

Chilcot: 'This isn't a sixth form common room, this is the real business of running the country', says historian

Sir John Chilcot delivered his long-awaited report this morning

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A British military historian has speculated if "service people will ever trust the politicians to make the right decision" again in the wake of the Chilcot Report.

Sir John Chilcot made a statement this morning, in which he said the Iraq war was “not a last resort" and planning for after the war was “wholly inadequate."

Peter Caddick-Adams from Cranfield University believes the seven years it took for the report to be completed is understandable.

"I don't think any of us now have any reservations about the time and the and the lumbering process by which he examined this, it's fully justified," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"It's really A, comprehensive and B, damming and no one can argue that this report is a fudge.

"In this case the intelligence chiefs are very much taken at their word, they have provided their own institutional sanity checks before they offer up this information to the Prime Minister.

"All the way through this report there's the implication that it's politics, the end solution has been decided first, and the other actors, the military chiefs, the intelligence chiefs have then got to fall into place.

"This isn't a sixth form common room, this is the real business of running the country, taking it to war and putting people's lives on the line, and frankly the whole Blair administration in this was shown to be wanting." 

The historian however, now wonders what the report will mean for future conflicts.

"The forces at the end of the day trust their politicians when the decision is made to send them to war," he added.

"You have to have trust in your chain of command before you lay your life down, and what's happened here is there is a breach here, because will service people really ever trust the politicians to have made the right decision?

"There are plenty of templates about how to go to war, and the process we go through, and all of these were either ignored or fast-tracked.

"We've learnt that there needs to be better record keeping, and he [Chilcot] pointed out just how much Tony Blair did things informally.

"There needs to be far more transparency in the whole process of government decision making in this sort of situation, and whereas we had thought it might have all been in place, it clearly wasn't."

The report is comprehensive and damning