Chilcot: Key findings of the UK’s Iraq War report

By Nick Thompson, Bryony Jones, Blathnaid Healy and Sean O'Key, CNN

Updated July 6, 2016

Seven years and 2.6 million words later, the Chilcot report into the UK's involvement in the Iraq War has been published. Here are some key passages from the executive summary.
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Military action not a last resort

"In the Inquiry’s view, the diplomatic options had not at that stage [March 2003] been exhausted. Military action was therefore not a last resort."
– Page 6, Pt. 20

Blair to Bush: “I will be with you, whatever”

" Mr Blair’s long Note of 28 July, telling President Bush “I will be with you, whatever,” was seen, before it was sent, only by No. 10 officials ... While the Note was marked “Personal” (to signal that it should have a restricted circulation), it represented an extensive statement of the UK Government’s position by the Prime Minister to the President of the United States. The Foreign and Defence Secretaries should certainly have been given an opportunity to comment on the draft in advance. "
– Page 58, Pt. 409, Clause 4

The legal case for war was “far from satisfactory”

"The circumstances in which it was ultimately decided that there was a legal basis for UK participation were far from satisfactory."
– Page 62, Pt. 432

Foreign Secretary Jack Straw wanted harder line on Iraq

"When he saw the draft paper on WMD countries of concern on 8 March, Mr Straw commented: “Good, but should not Iraq be first and also have more text? The paper has to show why there is an exceptional threat from Iraq. It does not quite do this yet.”"
– Page 71, Pt. 509

No weapons of mass destruction, no legitimacy for war

"The lack of evidence to support pre‑conflict claims about Iraq’s WMD challenged the credibility of the Government and the intelligence community, and the legitimacy of the war."
– Page 77, Pt. 577

Why Blair backed Bush

"Concern that vital areas of co-operation between the UK and the US could be damaged if the UK did not give the US its full support over Iraq; the belief that the best way to influence US policy towards the direction preferred by the UK was to commit full and unqualified support, and seek to persuade from the inside."
– Page 51, Pt. 365

U.S. wanted regime change – UK wanted disarmament

"The declared objectives of the UK and the US towards Iraq up to the time of the invasion differed. The US was explicitly seeking to achieve a change of regime; the UK to achieve the disarmament of Iraq, as required by UN Security Council resolutions."
– Page 51, Pt. 362

Blair knew invasion would increase terror risk at home

"Mr Blair had been advised that an invasion of Iraq was expected to increase the threat to the UK and UK interests from Al Qaida and its affiliates."
– Page 47, Pt. 340

Britain’s post-invasion plan “wholly inadequate”

"UK planning and preparation for the post‑conflict phase of operations, which rested on the assumption that the UK would be able quickly to reduce its military presence in Iraq and deploy only a minimal number of civilians, were wholly inadequate. "
– Page 122, Pt. 814

British troops didn’t have the equipment they needed

"The achievements made in preparing the forces in the time available were very considerable, but the deployment of forces more quickly than anticipated in the Defence Planning Assumptions meant that there were some serious equipment shortfalls when conflict began."
– Page 122, Pt. 813

Iraq did not give WMD technology to terrorists

"In November 2001, the JIC assessed that Iraq had played no role in the 9/11 attacks on the US and that practical co‑operation between Iraq and Al Qaida was “unlikely”. There was no “credible evidence of covert transfers of WMD‑related technology and expertise to terrorist groups”. It was possible that Iraq might use WMD in terrorist attacks, but only if the regime was under serious and imminent threat of collapse."
– Page 10, Pt. 51

UK did not want to admit intelligence failings

"… After the invasion, the UK Government, including the intelligence community, was reluctant to admit, and to recognise publicly, the mounting evidence that there had been failings in the UK’s pre‑conflict collection, validation, analysis and presentation of intelligence on Iraq’s WMD."
– Page 77, Pt. 574