The seven year wait for the results of Sir John Chilcot’s report, an inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the Iraq war has been published July 6. Tony Blair and the Labour government had avoided starting the inquiry, saying the time was not right. In 2009 Gordon Brown announced that the process was begun and it was expected to have been delivered much sooner, however due to the massive scope of the document and a series of delays it has only just been released. The cost of the Iraq inquiry was £10.3million.
Official UK calculations put the combined costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at £20.3 billion at June 2010. However, according to a book published in 2013 titled Investment in Blood, the UK war in Afghanistan came to £37bn or around $56.46 billion, using our currency calculator. The number of UK service casualties was 179, the US lost 4,487 service personnel and it has been estimated by The Lancet medical journal that there had been 645,965 Iraqi deaths related to the war, by 2006.
Five Times as Long as War and Peace
Sir John Chilcot delivered the report at 11am on Wednesday, July 6. Afterward the report could be seen online for free. The weighty 12 volume printed editions cost £767 each. The report begins with the 9/11 attacks, continues to the war on Afghanistan, the military action in Iraq and it continues until when the inquiry was announced in July 2009 to study the aftermath.
The executive summary of the report is 150 words, the whole report, however comes to 2.6 million words, making it, somewhat ironically, five times as long as Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece War and Peace.
Tony Blair Tearful
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has spoken tearfully, saying: “I express more sorrow, regret and apology than you can ever believe.” He also has criticised the modern “addiction” to believe the worst about people. Chilcot’s report concluded that Blair had deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by the Iraqi regime as he was seeking to make the case for military action. Blair strongly rejected the idea that soldiers had died unnecessarily: “I will never agree that people made their sacrifice in vain,” he said.
Jeremy Corbin, who was opposed to the war, claimed Tony Blair “misled” MPs. Labour moderates shook their heads and one shouted: “Sit down and shut up…You’re a disgrace.”