Monday, May 04, 2009

SIS chief #2 - "we got dragged into a war"

Ex-MI6 chief says UK was ‘dragged’ into Iraq war

May 4th, 2009 - 2:42 pm ICT by ANI

London, May 4 (ANI): Britain was “dragged into a war in Iraq which was always against our better judgment” a former deputy head of MI6 has claimed. Former MI6 deputy director Nigel Inkster’s comments make clear there were reservations over the war at a very senior level within the Secret Intelligence Service.

MI6 was blamed for the failure of intelligence that took Britain to war after helping produce a dossier in which Tony Blair claimed that Iraq was ready to use weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes. In a speech at the Institute for Public Policy Research, Inkster blamed weakness at the Foreign Office for allowing Britain to get dragged into a war over which officials had serious doubts.

“The Foreign Office no longer does foreign policy. It acts as a platform for a multiplicity of UK departments and the lack of a clearly articulated sense of our strategic location in the world explains how we got dragged into a war with Iraq which was always against our better judgment,” The Telegraph quotes Inkster, as saying.

His views on Iraq, expressed for the first time in public, may also explain why he was passed over as the head of MI6 in favour of Sir John Scarlett, who took responsibility for the dossier during the Hutton inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly.

Sir John, the current director of MI6, was head of the Joint Intelligence Committee at the start of the war and was criticized for being too close to Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, and Alastair Campbell, his spin doctor.

Inkster said the world was moving from “being policed by America to be policed by nobody” and the danger of an increasingly unstable world meant populations were likely to fall back on the “snake oil and voodoo” of religious and nationalistic movements.

Inkster, who now works for the International Institute of Strategic Studies, worked for MI6 from 1975 until 2006 in posts including Asia, Latin America and Europe. (ANI)


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