'Cowardice was shown by Obama and David Cameron in withdrawing troops', says political adviser John McTernan

'Cowardice was shown by Obama and David Cameron in withdrawing troops', says political adviser John McTernan

Tony Blair's former director of political operations says his old boss 'told the truth'

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Political adviser John McTernan believes the Iraq War had good consequences and that Barack Obama and David Cameron have now shown "cowardice".

"I think it's absolutely unarguable that the removal of a genocidal fascist dictatorship has improved the world," he told Sam Delaney. "[Saddam Hussein's] removal should be a matter for celebration, it wasn't the aim of the war but it's definitely a good consequence.

"The security situation in Iraq was brought under control by the surge, by the UK and US forces working with indigenous militia and local militia.

"I think one of the things which has endangered security in Iraq has been the cowardice shown by Obama and David Cameron in withdrawing troops before the Iraqi site is fully rebuilt, I think the impatience they showed in withdrawing those forces is actually a stain on their reputation."

Whilst many spoken out against Tony Blair's belief at the time that Iraq had nuclear weapons, Tony Blair's former director of political operations McTernan believes it wasn't just the belief of Britain and America.

"Saddam Hussein gassed his own people," he revealed. "That was a crime against humanity.

"The situation is this, every single security service in the world, alongside Britain’s, believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. They were looking in different ways of how to deal with Saddam, but they agreed the fundamentals.

"[Tony Blair] told Parliament what he was told, he told the truth to Parliament, and that's a really important thing to understand."

The Chilcot Report raised many issues including a lack of equipment for forces.

"The military have always had in Britain, the equipment that they need, the support that they need, the money that they need to pay for the equipment.

"In terms of post-invasion planning, that's a point that Tony Blair raised in the very first memo he sent.

"People saw [at his press conference] one of the greatest contemporary politicians still at the peak of his performance, and man who can answer any question in detail, not afraid to take responsibility, he's taken responsibility for the mistakes."