tv Today in Washington CSPAN January 22, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EST
>> that is reasonably clear that what decided president lagos was the amount of time he got a reasonable to put for an ultimatum was not there. >> evidently, i mean, difficult time to judge. that was in his concern. the basic concern of president lagos that you're asking me, this is me, asking him, you're asking me to put myself in a position when going to line up with you guys com, circumstancer the french and russians will attack is very heavily, and circumstances where they will poker2nite the resolution anyway. spent as we know, president chirac's statement was specifically vichyssoise. that was a very strong statement. it may not admit a difference to him.
it wasn't necessarily ruling out a deadline. so there were two factors at work here. certainly a strong front you, but a strong american view, and you described earlier in our conversation, that you were caught in a sense between these two views. >> yes, that's true, but i have to emphasize this. particularly in light of all the things that are being said about whether we are misrepresenting the french view or not. we never misrepresented the french view. the french view was absolutely clear, right. it wasn't they were against any second resolution. they were perfectly happily agreed a second resolution provide it meant a third resolution. they would agree to a third resolution provided it meant a fourth one. what they were not prepared to do any set of circumstances, nevermind issues law, was they were prepared to agree to resolution with an ultimatum.
and so we're caught in a situation where quite rightly the americans would sing to us, what they were up. agree was a rerun of 1441 except possibly we could. that's useless. in the end, and i'm very happy i have the french president interview here to go through it, he had come to the view that inspections were working and, therefore, that should be the root that we dealt with saddam, and we should not deal with him by force, whatever the circumstances. and anything with an ultimatum from his point not time. jacques chirac's point was not the time for this resolution to operate. operate. is pointless if it's got an ultimatum in it i don't want it. >> and the french had earlier talked about the possibility of a time limit, and i think we've been through the question with the french actually said. >> this is a lot like stephen
said to you. we have not misrepresent their position. their position was absolutely clear. anything within ultimatum they would be done. >> just to conclude on this point, on the afternoon of 12th of march a conversation with president bush. again, we have to rely on you to tell us what he said. you discuss whether chile and mexico were coming along and how to accept that they were. did you discuss the fine that you should take about the role of france to get a second resolution? >> i can't recall. i've gone back and refreshed my mind on the know, but it would have mattered much frankly. the line we're going to take on
france is the line. i mean, that's the language. and that was as much for our own -- the french-american relationship by then had become very scratchy and very difficult. i was always very keen to remain on good personal terms with jacques chirac. i both liked him, admired him come and have a great deal of time for them as an individual and as a leader. we disagreed on the fundamental question of extremism and what to do about it. but, you know, we wouldn't have wanted frankly to take the same position as america who were after france anymore rather aggressive way. >> you alluded to it already, we have been told it was a conscious decision, when you fail to get chile and mexico to start up.
stephen told us it was his you -- that you knew that and you knew which were claiming was not what chirac headset. would you like to comment? >> i would like to comment on it because it's simply not correct. i've got great admiration for steven and he was a fantastic colleague to work with but he wasn't handling this particular issue. and the fact is that the french were of course going to various people and saying no, no, no. the british are quite wrong about this. we are not opposed to a second resolution. that was absolutely correct, with one writer which was an added comp which is as long as it's not got an ultimatum in it. and so when you go to the french presidents actual interviews --
i have it somewhere here. in that interview what president chirac said was there is this proposal of a new resolution setting an ultimatum. goes on to start with the talk of 17 march, then a busload of the british amendment to postpone the date of the ultimatum. it's of little consequence. in other words, he said we move from a course of action in order to disarm iraq to a different one consisting of so many days go to war. question, you don't want that? france won't accept it and so we will refuse that solution. and that's in the context of which he then goes on to say regardless of the circumstances, i didn't say when i'm asked at the house of commons, i'm asked what is the french objection, and i said the problem with the diplomacy, this is on the 18th
of march, the debate authorizing conflict, the problem with the diplomacy, when it came to an end, it came to an end after the position of france was made public, repeated in a private conversation between myself and president chirac, and he said it would blocked by veto any resolution that that contained an ultimatum. so i wasn't alleging they would say no to any resolution or they of course they would agree to resolution that didn't have an ultimatum and because that would mean a further resolution afterwards. and so the position was really very clear on both sides. >> i think chirac -- >> the very point is making here, jacques chirac come is the time isn't the issue for him. it's the ultimatum that is the issue.
>> just won a slightly separate but similar point on that same episode. i mean, what is clear is that the americans had deadlines of military action as you yourself have said. and go for they must have wanted very much to wrap up the process of negotiations that united nations on the possible second resolution, bring it to an end. what is not clear is why we continued those negotiations for nearly a week after president chirac had made a statement which the government, on the 18th of march, described as making it is not possible to secure a second resolution in the united nations. in your book you say that you have decided that we should table the five tests anyway. we did so in the early hours of
first day, 13, march. they were immediately rejected by writes. jacques chirac gave a very strong statement he would not support military action whatever the circumstances. but he had made a statement on the 10th of march which was four days before you table for the five tests. why did you go ahead and continue those negotiations and they continued be on the 13th, effectively i think the following monday that jeremy greenstock finally withdrew a draft resolution? was it because you didn't really believe that chirac is statement signaled the end of the process? or were we continuing negotiations at this point that a particular good faith? >> no. it was effectively this, that obviously this was the second best thing now because france had made clear, you're right, on the 10th of march, i think it was dominic that with a
statement out on the 13th of march, but what we decided was look, even if you can't get the resolution because they said they will would veto, nonetheless you'd have some greater, if you like, political authority if you could at least get the majority numbers on the security council to say they would agree such a resolution if they don't. so in other words, it wasn't -- >> you mean by voting for? >> yes by voting for it. you would have a veto that resolution. >> that would undermine the authority of in 1441? >> no, it would have undermined that because we believe we have authority anyway in 1441 but it would have allowed us to have said politically we had a majority security council. so had we ended up in a situation where chile and mexico have said okay, we are with you. we probably would have put this resolution down had -- >> but you had gotten? >> it became clear during that
period. >> it was circa clear by wednesday, and on thursday the negotiations went for another four days. >> we are still time to do everything we could to build the majority. i'm not sure exactly the time when it became clear we were not going to get anywhere. >> did you agree with president bush when he spoke on the 12 the game was up? >> it looked like that, yes, because it is clear we were not going to get a resolution. this was the second best, okay? our preference would have gotten a resolution passed the security council. but as i recall what it took place, i thought that i had that you at least, i think this is denied also in conversatconversations with cabinet colleagues as well, and i was very conscious i had cabinet members who were unhappy about this and so on, that it might give us some political weight, not much frankly, but some if we detail these we had a
majority on our site, even though we knew we were not going to get the resolution. >> i'm not sure i'm entirely clear this point, but i spent too much time because i know we have a lot more. >> it's simply a political point. i mean, if you say we didn't get the resolution, it was vetoed. but nontheless, we got a majority security council in our favor, it would allow us to say that. at that point you're right that the political, you know, you're at a point of political decision. you know you have a vote in house of commons because we give the house of commons a vote on this. it would have helped me. i would definitely use this in terms of the presentation of? if i'd been able to stand up and say well, we didn't get the resolution but nonetheless we had a majority at the security council. >> i can see would help the presentation of the case. and i note that by wednesday we
had effectively concluded that we were not going to get nine votes, and i think that's probably where we left a point of tactical detail. back to you, lawrence. >> time is beginning to press. jack straw told parliament on the 20th of november, 2002, and ago, material, material breach means something significant, some behavioral patterns of behavior that is serious. among such features could be action by the government of iraq deserved to obstruct or to be the inspectors to intimidate witnesses what any single action appears relatively minor, the actions as a whole add up to something deliberately and more significant. something that shows iraq's intention not to comply. would you agree with that as a definition of material breach? >> absolutely. >> it has a low bar i guess? >> no, look, you could have made
an argument that said the declaration in december was a breach. i think some of the american system at the time trying to claim that actually. but my attitude was, look, and this was the advice given to me, this is not a proper declaration, so on and so forth, but you can't just say okay, we are going to action now. >> so the previous time you're taking military action against iraq, in december 98, richard butler reported that saddam was not cooperating with inspectors. was your expectation that hans would be able to do the same? we are talking of december, january the. he was obviously coming back to the security council, indeed he did, regularly to report. i mean, it would be a matter of
decided how often he do that. given the history of this, we were going to expect very early and significant signs that saddam had genuinely changed the position of his regime. >> but hans clinton wasn't giving you a statement that iraq was not comply. he was saying conditions were improving. the attorney general's office wrote you on the 14th of march asking you to confer that it was your view that iraq admitted material further breaches, they reply the next day confirming to that. when you replied were you working with the definition i stated earlier from jack straw in my -- >> yes, absolutely. >> can you tell me the process
she followed be forgetting that determination? >> we went back over the blix report, and it was very obvious to me, particularly on the subject of images that they were not cooperating. they will cooperate more agile is a. they start to get out a little more. but there was absolutely nothing to suggest that this cooperation was for immediate and unconditional. it was actually not a media. in fact, lex himself said it was an immediate even on the seventh of march. and not unconditional. and in addition to that, i had i think other things as well, which i think are still outstanding, where it was clear that saddam is putting heavy pressure on people not to cooperate. although i didn't know this at the time, but we know now, that he actually said -- said the
vice president long to address a whole group of the iraqi scientists and experts to say you better not be found with any material, it is a problem for inspectors what his actual obligation is they should have been offering any material. >> it is interpretation of that, which is simply that he was nervous there had been freelancing, and that the point of that was to make sure nobody did anything because they shouldn't. >> i think freelancing -- >> can i just clarify, when you said we looked, who was the we involved with this? in your office? did you consult more widely? >> i'm sure jack particularly at the time, i don't recollect this, but in any event this was literally the whole time this was going on. i mean, our view was that he was not cooperating in the terms of
1441. and that by the way remains my view today that he wasn't, and, indeed, he never had any intention of doing that. that is correct as you rightly say, we have been over this once before that he was offering up more but he was not offering up more, you know can't even figure he wasn't offering up what they were asking him. >> finally on the issue, you mentioned something from hans blix that you quote in your book, you quote this on page 427 of your book and it's obvious by the new initiatives which were taken by the iraqi side with the future result of some long-standing open disarmament issues were active or even proactive, these initiatives three to four months into the new resolution cannot be said to constitute immediate cooperation. nor can cover all areas of relevance. but a paragraph been continues, they are nevertheless welcomed
and i don't think there respond to them and responding currently unresolved issues. that brings us back to the crux of the issue that you stop the process at a time when it was given more results ,-comcome when the iraqis need aerial surveillance that would agree to interviews, and when it was already starred to destroy ballistic missiles. when the iaea was able to say that there is no nuclear program. >> what we've got to do is make a judgment here. was the reason why -- first of all, 1441 didn't say over the coming period of time you should increase your levels of cooperation. it said there has to be full, immediate and unconditional cooperation, and a plane he wasn't. now, the judgment you've got to make about this is does that
patent behavior very reminiscent of his previous behavior, does that indicate that actually this is what you withdrew, because you have to get rid of the troops at some point, you can keep them forever. does that behavior indicate that this is somebody who wants the threat of that military action with withdrawal was then going to be carrying on with this, you know, eking out of bits of cooperation? or issue a judgment that any end once the threat of military action was withdrawn, he would be back to his old games ?-que?-quex and look, we don't know the answer to the question but a to point to the survey group and that it is at least as argy-bargy would be back to his old games as is argued what he would become a different saddam. >> the basic problem was that you had to make that determination about time because that's when the americans wished to go to war.
we're not talking a eking it out indefinitely, a few more weeks might have made a lot of difference. >> the question is, this is the whole hub of this comp the question is would it have made a difference? i mean, yes, it's absolutely true that he may have carried on getting more concessions. that wouldn't have removed the problem of saddam, unless those concessions were made in good faith, good heart, because he decided to change. now you're right, the american metric timer april under timetable, that is clear ad notice, but the whole, the last gasp as it were was to give a way of resolving, particularly this issue of interviews to the ultimatum. that you know this is a debate that even now people still have. you know, would this have been a situation where saddam would have changed continually?
or would it have been a situation where he would outfox the international committee and come back to his old games? look, we can't answer that question now, but i say to look back on the record of the man, the things he did, you know, not as if he never developed these weapons. he developed them and use them. and we know now that he saw their use as essential to having defeated the iranians, and that he saw having nuclear and chemical capability as a central part of the stability and maintenance of his regime. now, all i say to you is we can't tell at this point in time whether he would've changed or not. but i say it is at least surely, surely arguable that he would have not changed, been there with a lot of money, and still with the same intent. in which case it was a risk and it which case we would being in
my view responsible about it is not a risk we should be running. >> that process at and at that point. >> it doesn't seem that actually. it seems he had a change of heart, but anyway, i think we have -- >> and just a few minutes we will take a very short break, but before you i'll ask monty to open up a new question. >> if i could stay with the pre-march 20th period, look at the question of how the decision was made for united kingdom to take the responsibility for southern iraq. and your previous evidence to us, you said i think from january onwards it was clear that we're going to have responsibility in the south. but on the sixth of march, 2003, you are recorded in saying, document we released today, the issue of secularization would need to be addressed. it should be covered in the
plan. in your statement to us, you said we took the decision to take on responsibility from the south sector following jack straw note to me of the 19th of march, that that note said that it would be premature to take it you on the sectors at a time when iraq still wasn't in a stabilize the situation under our control. can you tell us exactly when the decision was made for united kingdom to take responsibility for the south? and who was involved in that decision? >> right. i mean, because you have indicated, i've gone back through the papers again. i mean, look, from january 2003 it was obvious, rather not obvious, sorry, it would be a great we do in the south, so we would be, as it were, we have responsibility for that area. and i think mikey jackson gave
evidence to you which said really in a sense our responsibility for the aftermath in that sector grew out of the fact is was our area of operations in the conflict. we think, it's correct, we had a meeting in the sixth of march which i got a briefing note for on sectors nation. i resolved to find of income it was then a cabinet office note of the 19th of march 2 matthew rycroft for the ministerial meeting saying we should decide on sectors, and a joint foreign ministry is coming to you, that's the one in the 19th and then david manning thinks it should have gone on the agenda for tomorrow, chance to comment on her return on the 21st of march. so we put it on tomorrow's agenda. so we didn't take a final view
them, but then the note to me was the expectations is the u.k. forces would be responsible, and i didn't -- i then had that meeting on them, they note out to the foreign office minister of defense, office from the foreign the street secretary. he agrees with proposals provided with the satisfaction of the resolution, and i list certain issues. and then again the foreign office rights to matthew rycroft, and then what happens is that we established at some point that the ad hoc committee capital h. this time with jack straw in charge come and out of that comes to the view that we should be responsible for that sector, and they should be part of a joint occupying power
responsibility i have to say then that was obvious. that is where we would end up. >> this was a specific decision during the time when a lot of -- >> i think the decision ultimately could take what we think of resolution 1483. most of the discussion here was not really about whether we should be responsible for the south or not. it was about the u.n. role, and then what happened was that these ad hoc committee meetings that jack was chairing were happening day in and day out. they're going through a lot of details, legal advice. and then we got 1483 reported at the cabinet and agreed it. >> in your statement you say to us i was also keen of this area of operation in the south, because it seemed to me the south would be more manageable. but in the joint intelligence committee assessment of the 19th of february, which has been declassified and which is now published, it concludes we have limited intelligence on the
particular conditions in the south. and also the posts of them security situation in the south will be unpredictable your how is this caveat factored into this? >> it was obviously going to be -- sorry, i have the paper here now. it was obviously going to be unpredictable. these situations -- but, you know, my calculation about this was really very to the brit. one of the things that we're all very concerned about was sunni-shia divisions, the difficulties, and then with the kurds, potential problem there, too. so the one thing the was a lot of thought of was we had to make sure that we dealt with this issue. the benefit of the south is that
the shia, absolutely predominately. and so i felt we were going to be in an area of operation where it was frankly going to be easier for us. and actually if you look at the overall levels of violence, i think i am right in saying that overall i think the figure, it may even be -- i think overall i think about, only about 1% or 2% of the violent overall in iraq following the invasion was centered around basra. and so that was the reasons why -- i mean, you know, what they were warning of obviously right and important, but we felt that we had a better chance of managing this. i mean, i would just draw attention also to what they say about iran, too, because
opposition of nation-building. we must accept responsibility and acknowledge the plan at the outset. accept that as a failing. we declassified what was sent to you on the nineteenth of the july when he said we need to plan for the day after. had just worked and had to scramble to get them ready in time. obviously a number of people -- what doesn't the planning take this on? >> planning did take place. the question now in spite of
what we know with hindsight should we be focusing on different things? we have meetings ourselves. the department of international -- the trouble is we were getting an assumption that iraq had a functioning bureaucracy but it didn't. and our focus was on humanitarian, environmental and use of chemical and biological weapons. a significant amount of planning went on directed at the wrong thing. >> humanitarian planning with the invasion. what we want to know is what is the longer-term planning?
things were considered in the planning. what happens? in 2003, you can take out saddam hussein but what do you do with iraq? -- who is going to run the place? you decide the responsibility is down to the americans. in early march with an interview, there was no clear plan and you reportedly applied, don't worry, that is in hand. it would be done by u.s. over 90% of the essence of the
operation. >> this would be the primary responsibility. what should be left to the americans. the reason we have done a lot of planning ourselves, we knew we would be part of the aftermath and planning that fitted in to three categories. in the department of international development and for an office and the reason for all the erasion before the invasion of what would be the structure of government because -- how would we transit from saddam hussein to the coalition and health through a legitimate authority. if it is true and real issue to be very blunt about, what we referred to in lessons learned, where the americans are going to be providing 90% of the assets,
you are not going to be in a position where there is the driving party. it was precisely -- we would have an interaction with a the americans, in a position where the americans -- the one thing -- when we look back on this now particularly in light of the experience in iraq and afghanistan, there are things we didn't believe would be problems than, we need a far deeper analysis of the type of nation building and state building capacity that you require.
all of that i would agree. what i wouldn't say is we were not focusing on these things because we were. >> i would suggest to you that the grandstanding and planning could have taken place. earlier this morning when you were talking, you talked about how you did not adjust the policy because the policy -- what implications of the policy understood because lord williams who as you know with a special adviser to jack straw, made a statement that planned facility campaigns are usually based on risks involved. in the case of iraq this was only done in the most narrow sense that we were focusing on the campaign but didn't already test out what the implications were. >> i think that is far too
starck a comment made with the benefit of hindsight. you hear from many people who were engaged in this process. karen miller was talking about officials with a hole for an office infrastructure on things like how would we work out the right form of iraqi government and so on. if not simply looking at humanitarian but reconstruction issues and so on, the letters to me in october of 2002 which we can go to describe in detail all the things they are doing about various issues. in the immediate aftermath, the ministry of defense and military were going to be in charge but one of the things i want to say is in retrospect, the failings of the american system being set out in the report we have done and they have accepted them.
if we knew then what we know now of course we would be looking at different things. i do make this point. it is true that when we got in there we found a very different situation. but you got evidence that 10% of the original plan survived with contact from the reality on the ground and that is true in bosnia and kosovo and everywhere. these problems that we had were resolvedable very fast. that was not the problem we got into. if we carried on with the same security situation in 2003 into 2005/6 we would not have had a problem we ended up with. >> to the pre planning stage. we were aware of how this system was. the conversation was taking place. do you think we had sufficient
visibility of making enough to influence them or were you interested in this area? >> i was. i was raising this with president bush. you had evidence about it. this switch from the state department in january of 2003 to the department of defense. that is one of the things the americans themselves have gone back over. i didn't see this at a time but i went back and looked at the state department plans which were very detailed. i have only looked at them as they are now but they were published -- brought into being in january of 2003. the things i would emphasize, when you read their plans they were on the same assumption as i which is there is a functioning infrastructure of government and your basic problem, you may get
security issues but your basic problem is humanitarian and go as planned are very detailed and very good. they don't address the problem we ended up with. >> would it be true to say there was so much concentration on this second resolution on the diplomatic course or campaign plan itself that attention wasn't paid to a clear strategy of the aftermath? >> you are read to the be right in saying there was a huge amount -- a absorb enormously by the politics. however i think virtually every meeting, i continually say the aftermath is of vital and sometimes i even say the aftermath is the issue. insofar as we were getting information about what we thought would happen we were trying to draw this in from all
sorts of sources including iraqis who recently left the country and so on. when i look at what actually happened after march of 2003, i don't minimize the problems because when i went to iraq i came back in a high state of anxiety. but none of these were insurmountable. if we were to plan something like this again we would do differently. not just in the light of knowledge that we have now about security but there are far better government mechanisms like the stabilization unit in 2004. all of that is very sensible. one other point by the way. there is not just a need for us to have that capacity.
it is a vital thing for the eu and possibly native land you and to have that capacity. i am not sure since leaving office that that capacity is there. >> in terms of planning pre invasion. you accept we could have done better than we did. >> i do accept that, yes. i made it clear all the way through that i don't believe it would have resolved any changes of our basic problems that are far more fundamental than anything to do with bureaucracy or structure of government and so on but of course. if we were sitting down today, if we are in a situation of nation-building again, there are changes in our approach that certainly should be done. are have thought on those i could give you later. the single most important thing
i could say is the real issue is what you focus on less than the structure. you could say we should have had one minister focusing on the preplanned and. i would debate that. >> seems to be the focus of the problem is you didn't actually tried to work with the americans but we will move on. i want to get the question now. >> we did try. >> the question is the occupation. your statement implies that you were not aware concerns about the issues, on the fifth of march, discussion on the sixth,
our planning unit advised ministers including yourself that a likely area might contain 20% of the iraqi population and somewhere between $400 million, and $2.4 million might be needed. this is well beyond the financial capacity and there is a risk you could end of becoming responsible for a large and expensive commitment in the medium term. if you become responsible for funding, in the british sector, we judge this would be very likely to be beyond the resources of a u.k. alone. in the face of this, do you seek to limit the ability in iraq? >> no. i was absolutely sure that if we
required more resources we would find them. i have gone back through these papers and i can recall a time when someone said to me we need this resource to make sure the iraqi effort succeeds and i would say no. gordon brown made it very clear throughout the meetings we had and to be fair, he on it this commitment which is necessary but what i did do as a result of that, reduce our commitment at all. what i did do is, this is part of the discussion with the americans, we had to get international support so we put the debt relief for the iraqis. there was an international pledging conference. money wasn't the problem. it really wasn't a problem.
one of the things i am frustrated by when i read the evidence and this is possibly a lesson here is obviously further down the chain there were people saying there are resources and problems that we have, to the people we send out, if you have a problem, tell me. i want to know. i think there was a time in may or june of 2003, i have a vague recollection of hillary bend asking for $30 billion or something. he got it. if it had been a resource problem, we would have paid the bill. >> there was never any suggestion of too clever or adequate of occupying part. does this mean you were actively told there would be adequate
troops or told you there would be a problem or did you seek advice on this point? >> they were giving me advice. my assumption is they think they can do it then they can do it. we would have had discussions about that at this time. in essence we had both the troops and the the resources to manage this if the security situation hadn't changed. the difference between this and bosnia kosovo is the heart of the problem. i actually went back and looked at the papers in relation to kosovo. people were making the same complaints. when we went in we found chaos and difficulty and all sorts of problems. we could get the people there fast enough. there were issues with resources. they all got resolved. these would have been resolved and the end. if you actually track his
telegram, they occasionally fact strongly. when he leaves in 2004 he is optimistic, not pessimistic. and interesting piece of evidence was given to general debt and who said when he went out in 2005 he went out on the basis that things would be in the right direction. two years after we were in there. any planning problems or bureaucracy issues that we could have resolved. the problem he goes on to say, terms of duty straddled that period, suddenly it slipped and it slipped not because we weren't taking the right decisions back home but because the enemy we ended up finding which was backed by iran were causing us trouble.
>> you are very ambitious. if you look at the question of policeing green stalk, said was he wanted to do quickly, try to do it by the end of 2003 if you can. we looked at each other but decided we could do anything to help if we realized it. the mission was high. it was never backed up with a proper analysis of the resources and capabilities in staffing. >> as far as resources were concerned that wasn't the issue being raised. if someone said to me i have a great plan but the resources i would say you have them. you end up -- the thing about military and civilian if you're looking at a situation when you are in the civilian phase because the military phase is very expensive. the money we are talking about,
in large sums of money in government terms hundreds of millions. when you talk about military you are talking billions. i saw that evidence again, the evidence is being given that these people we -- civil policeing, i can speak to this in my responsibility in palestine, civil policeing is a vital part of the picture more so than we realized at the time and i would serve only say that going into any such situation in the future you have to have a fully and comprehensively worked out plan for that because you will certainly find the police resources that are there are corrupt or useless.
>> your statement you referred to the challenge of delivery. do you feel the government machine was up to u.s. aspirations? >> i think they were up to liberate it. and they were delivering it. the officials we sent out and people working for us were fantastic people. they were amazingly committed people. the trouble was the security situation basically dislocated the reconstruction effort and occasionally through this you get a theme which is once you move faster on reconstruction you might have got the same security problem. i would really dispute that. the thing about these terrorist activities they were directed at stopping the progress. they were not expression of frustration at the progress. we repair the electricity, these people would blow them up. they try to stop the oil
production. even today, many improvements in iraq today but this terrorism continues. the americans have drawn down, the british are out. it carried on because the purpose of this has nothing to do with standing up for iraq. it has to do with preventing iraq getting on its feet as up functioning democracy. that is why it is still important today for decent people in iraq and they are the majority to succeed. >> to move on to consultation, and occupying power. in your statement, a formal memorandum, quickly superseded by arrangements agreed to the meeting in april of 2003 in hillsborough. levels between the u.s. and u.s.
government. in our reading we could find no reference to these arrangements. furthermore there's clear evidence, colleagues and officials expressing frustration to the lack of u.s. confrontation two months after hillsborough. there are many complaints we are being sidelined at the us soyuz level. why did these concerns persist? >> in the end of a thing about hillsborough we are backed into another un situation. that was the point of my -- the issue between the two of us at hillsborough was the united nations role.
america didn't want to a un in. we were clear that they had to be in. in essence, iraq couldn't be run by the un and the u.s. didn't want the lead role but they had to have an important role and this was raised with president bush and resolved. we also had an issue on the peace process because i was very determined -- i don't remember when the road map was published but this is to do with the middle east peace process and i was fixed on that. on the consultation with the americans, there were and always will be -- you won't get a situation where everyone is happy with everyone but one of the reasons i was sending people of the caliber of john and jeremy, a top-level person in there making sure is things
transmit that we make our views known. sometimes that did not happen and there is a frustration about that. given the disparity of the assets that were deployed and down in the south we were running our own show. it would be a little harsh to say the -- they would certainly disagree with that. >> when you talk about individuals are we putting too much on this problem without getting the relationship right? we were ultimately join to this possibility. >> what the americans would say is if they did. you asked whether the particular individual -- this is all about
individuals. when someone like john -- i would have complete confidence. >> putting too much premium on individuals without a framework in which to work and having a strategy. >> what i was going to say is you can't predict all these situations. in the end, you could have agreed with some formal memorandum. that would not have been what made it work. the relationship with the president, jack's relationship and so on, constantly -- david manning and condoleezza rice had a close working relationship. they were speaking to each other several times a day. you see from various notes, the key thing was to have someone like john alongside ambassador brenner because i form clear views of ambassador bremer when
i missed him, he was a tough-minded person. he was someone who knew his own mind. i wanted a strong person alongside him. >> the united nations security council resolution, occupying -- the ground it occupied in iraq, it was for all iraq. hy was fully aware of the responsibility. and my colleagues. is also correct that the joint occupying power which share the responsibility, was an effective responsibility for implementation in the u.s.. together with the u.s. which constitutes the occupying power in the un resolution. the u.s. would provide a minimum
amount, how are they going to exercise its obligations? >> to make sure it got alongside the decisionmaking process. this is the issue weather we were responsible for the south or americans responsible for the rest or joined occupying power. there was an ad hoc committee meeting -- it was going to be to our advantage to make sure we join partners with the u.s. because that gave us the lock in baghdad, and this is a totally satisfactory way of resolving it. this is a colorful character.
effectively handle large amounts of american money and resources. put this in perspective. with more than the whole of what is to the south. people say will be americans cannot really treating does properly, i don't think that is correct. you will get. -- glitches and difficulties. one thing to say about ambassador bremer, he has given you a statement. the fact is she is there, iraq was on an upward path. it was in later times that we
got into the difficulties. there's a lot of debate about -- you will have heard a lot of evidence on that. i did not get the impression he was refusing to discuss with the british. we had working along the side -- >> why did he write to you on the seventh of april and said colleagues focus strongly that the u.s. must not be allowed to take this for granted otherwise, sharing responsibility, to influence them. >> absolutely right which is why we would be pushing the whole time but that is a struggle you expect to have. you will be in a situation where you are working alongside the u.s.. i would imagine that -- i
imagine the same thing would happen in afghanistan. passing on to me from colleagues, get on to your partner bush and say we have to be properly involved in this. after i came back from iraq on the 20 ninth i made sure i met president bush, gave a pretty clear situation of what was happening -- >> a number have, at from the issues. were you confident that this would be translated into action on the ground? it had not rest on that channel of communication. >> these things are only as effective as the top decisionmakers and circumstances where they are not actually on
the ground. you have to have in parallel to that, to go alongside the americans you have to have people who are there on the spot because whenever president bush and i agree, and the american system, if anyone ever dealt with it, three different judges it is a vast behemoths. you need to make sure messages are getting to the ground level as well as the top level. >> how confident were you that what you said to president bush was actually percolating down to the ground? >> they did take action. you are seeing from what happened with ambassador bremer, he got moving pretty quickly. he did start to turn things around.
was it difficult in the first bit of transition? if it was, the americans in their own analysis are saying this should be done differently. jerry brown would say that as well. i can say there are things where i was ringing -- and president bush wasn't doing anything. when i met him i went through item by item the things that had to happen and when i went to him his system was completely resistant to this, to get the you and into iraq they did come and. important to wonder stand this and it comes down to some of the evidence there. our contact was very clear. the suggestions -- with different objectives moving from the different stages of this transition. it was absolutely there. we wanted to go from coalition to provisional of 40, iraauthor
governing council. the purpose -- >> about to get to how effective the communication was. if there was a white house conversation the limit to how many issues can be raised, a distinct wet, the result. >> i would accept that completely. when you have big issues, you and coming in with big issues, if you get the you and in this situation the great advantage is it has a whole set of infrastructures to deal with things like developments, the situation now if you take the un out of gaza there would be very little there.
so the un has a huge infrastructure of capacity. to bring the un and important goal, pretty cool for this, and exceptional leader and person, the issue is what happened -- they killed him and many of his staff in 2003. one thing that is important to recognize, without the un authority you don't have the consensus among the population. the people we were fighting in iraq didn't care about the un. they wanted the un now, any of these questions, it is true, you can resolve everything in a telephone conversation, but the big ticket items with president bush, as far as i know, action
was falling from that. >> the question of capacity, in your memoirs, you were depending on a functioning civil service with structure of government -- given that iraq for decades had been under brutal and corrupt tyrants, in two debilitating wars and further debilitated by 12 years of sanctions, had this been removed by a third war, it is prudent to plan on the assumption of degraded apparatus. >> when you look back on this with hindsight you can say no. all i say to you is that the time there was quite a lot of work on this and what is interesting, i came across the other day when preparing for the
inquiry, coffee and on at a press conference in april of 2008, he referred to a functioning iraqi civil service. the americans and ourselves were of the view that because of the nature of this regime there must be a pretty good functioning civil service taking advice as well from people who had recently left iraq. one of the lessons of this undoubtedly is that in any situation where you are removing an oppressive and brutal regimes assume the worst. assume that as a result of that brutality, what you may have is a hard security apparatus that actually not a governing
bureaucracy. that weather resolvable problem. if we went into a security situation where we have internal elements, a certain amount of criminality, we could have managed that people fairly easily. >> that was your information. you declassified a letter, and he wanted some information. >> what actually happened, in early april of 2003. when we were in there, up to the
conflict, we are in iraq. we were not going to be relying on the ground. what became very apparent very quickly, made about a stake of the iraqi was not correct. on >> on the nineteenth of february, tumwater breakdown, what were the likely consequences going to be? >> you can pick out these things, i should think -- the intelligence that al qaeda sent
into iraq. it was a rather different from what we came to but this was the benefit of hindsight. the overall impression of bits of information this wasn't my conclusion -- both ours and the americans and, the same conclusions reached by the un -- a collapsed government. i want to emphasize it would have been a problem -- >> let me look briefly in to the
insurgency, to you -- let me ask about the -- what we anticipated. the meetings with the chiefs of staff on the fifteenth of january in 2003 two months before -- the risk of serious violence, two particular phrases, between the share of populations that were irretrievably fractured. can you tell us what you did to make sure this was to be addressed? >> there was a real worry about
that. what we did to address it was to make sure that as soon as possible we make sure governing council, that was formed very quickly. the kurds were all represented on it. that was an issue. the fighting did not start until 2006 after the mosque was bombed to create such sectarianism. people were prepared to deal with that and we did. in late may of 2003, actually
describes because of the easing of the security situation, troops were engaged more in reconstruction. we followed these as we predicted down south but not to give us concern, very quickly, we were able to overcome that. the problem of security, it is not what took place and most people thought that most of the intelligence was more of a problem than you are facing in iraq. >> you say in your book that iraq is looking forward to
2005/2006, was a battle against a general insurgency. the situation would have been manageable, weather or not several insurgency's happening in parallel. >> when former regime elements affect cities who were operating here and in the end, it was so important. i am not suggesting that wasn't the internal problem. what i am suggesting is what gave it a completely different complexion, and let me explain that. the thing about the bombing campaign, tabor the kind of
spectaculars in 2003. obama of the un headquarters, it was a massive moment. killing the people trying to get the economy on its feet. without hawkeye it would not be a problem but thousands died. [talking over each other] >> the thing about this is -- >> two or three points quickly, time is running along. on al qaeda, section from iran,
we argued it could be -- in northern iraq. i wonder if this whole area which on reflection you feel the advice given to you, by experts of different kinds, and they did make it clear before the invasion that the threat from al qaeda will increase at the onset of any military action with western interests. probably rather understated, given we have by this time been
engaged with the united states, in global war on terror, occupying an islamic country, should defeat experts anticipate -- i am wary of fat. why didn't they tell you that? more strongly? >> i don't think anyone predicted way it came to be. it may be different from others. they did an extremely good job
>> but i think the global ideology that gives rise to this extremisms has far deeper roots, and, you know, i'm out in the middle east a hot of the time now -- a lot of the time now, and it's the same issue everywhere. it comes up -- it doesn't always come up in issues to do with terrorism or violence, it is about modernization, it's about attitudes to the west, and can it's deep. it's a lot deeper. so what happened when you got al-qaeda coming into this situation is that it was more than just a few terrorists. it was backed with the ability to push an ideology that said the west is fundamentallies
hostile -- fundamentally hostile to islam, and that's why we have to wage war against these people. and we have to wage war against them and against the leaders that deal with them. now, that ideology in terms of how it results in violence is very few people. that narrative about islam in the west, i fear, has a far greater reach than we like to accept which is why this problem is not confined to one area of the world today. >> as you rightly say, they came into a situation. and, of course, they came into a situation that was very fertile ground for them. we've heard from, actually, many witnesses a picture in which during and after the campaign the situation inside iraq became very chaotic. in fact, looting started almost immediately. the invading and then occupying forces were not able to insure law and order.
even arms dumps were not guarded. we had, of course, dismantled the regime, self-evidently, but we had in the course of doing that, we went on to dismantle much of the public service through debaathification. we disbanded the army. much of it had melted away, we could have brought a lot of it back. we didn't. as a result of what was already a fragile and unstable country, a power vacuum developed. and in that situation according to this line of evidence that we've had, essentially, what happened was an internal and can intercommonnal struggle for power and resources which involved many different groups. the team that subsequently analyzed this for general petraeus and general odierno identified nine drivers of instability, one of which was al-qaeda, but essentially it
was an internal conflict which al-qaeda came into. and what i suppose concerns us is whether given what was known at the time -- as you rightly say, we know more about it now -- this should not have been factored in more into the planning and preparations so that enough resources were there on the ground, they'd have been predominantly american but british too, to prevent that power vacuum developing in this very chaotic, early situation. that was where our preparations went wrong. >> yeah. there's something in that, but i think you can make far too much of it. yes, of course, i mean, again, the americans have accepted they probably should have had more and different troops even. for the aftermath. and one of the lessons of this, undoubtedly, is what you required by way of fighting the
war is quite different than what is required by way afterwards. that i fully accept. but i think, you see, because this really does matter as a lesson. i don't think that al-qaeda stepped into a power vacuum. you know, if you take pakistan today -- and after all, there'll be more people killed terrorism in pakistan in 2010 than i think either iraq or afghanistan. you've got a perfectly well-functioning -- you can't say that's not a well functioning state, security services and everything. you've got people who are prepared, suicide bombing, to destabilize a country, they don't need a power vacuum. they simply need people who are prepared to go and blow themselves up in a street market. and when that happens, you destabilize the country, and that's the purpose of it. that's why it's such a straightening -- frightening phenomenon. and that's what these people do. and they do it, i think, all over.
>> i think nobody's disputing how unpleasant or ruthless al-qaeda are or the trouble they're creating in pakistan. but, of course, the majority of the people who made iraq virtually unmanageable were iraqis. they were internal. and they came from different groups, not all of the extremists were al-qaeda by any means. in fact, almost every group in the struggle for power had extremist elements in it and, indeed, still does today as we see from the pattern of continuing terrorism that goes on. al-qaeda became a bigger factor after a while, but the initial phase was surely important be, too, wasn't it? >> the initial phase was important, but, you see, what happens, and this is why it's so important be to get this right because otherwise we will go back into it. my view is in any situation where your going to -- you're going to engage and have to
engage in nation building where this islamist extremism is a factor, whatever you think and whatever kind of planning you do you're going to be in for a hard, relentless struggle because that's the nature of it. and, you see, it's correct that there was this power vacuum that was there. but actually -- and that's why i referred you to the general dutton's evidence earlier. 2005 iraq was getting there because, let's be clear, whatever these extremist groups were doing, the majority of iraqis were coming out and voting in their elections. they were in favor, indeed, still are today. i mean, i spoke to minister allawi who won the most seats in the recent iraq election the other day, and he said to me, look, it's very challenging, but there's hope in this country today. we defeated saddam, we will defeat the terrorists in the
end, and your people and forces should be proud of what they've done. these groups in 2004 and 2005, yes, there was struggle and fighting. but in the first half of 2004 there were 30 suicide attacks. first half of 2005 there were 200. now, that's way past these early teething issues to deal with bureaucracy and problems that we had, the power vacuum and so on. this, by now, is a deliberate attempt to destabilize the country. and the point i would make to you about al-qaeda is this: these other groups that were fighting and doing things, i'm not minimizing the importance, but the thing that made it toughest for all of us and toughest particularly with public opinion because we were having to try and keep our public opinion for a long struggle here, and i'm afraid this is what these groups have learned from their experience in afghanistan and iraq is that these, a, if you do these
spectacular, ghastly suicide bombings, you create an image of a country in chaos. so it's not just the numbers that you kill, it's the image you portray. and secondly, with the roadside bombs, the ieds, the efps and so on -- this is where the iranian part comes in -- you can aim it at the soldiers of the countries coming in, and the country providing those forces becomes demoralized by this. so i really do believe this is a fundamental point here. >> yeah. i -- nobody, i think, has or would question that we went over that at e enormous length last year, and we've covered it elsewhere. and we're now, unfortunately, short of time. i mean, the important point is, really, how do we counter it in a specific situation like iraq, or how do we minimize the chance of it growing up? did we have enough troops there ourselves? we've heard from general sharif
that he was only able to deploy in the really bad time in basra 200 troops onto the streets of the city. i'm sor rewe haven't got a chance -- >> we need more forces, i would have been -- >> i'm agreeing with you on the importance of al-qaeda and the need for further thought on it which i, is obviously a lesson. can i just ask two very quick questions on iran because we then have to move on because, again, iran you've highlighted as part of the problem. again, the jic, as you said earlier in the declassified report of the 19th of february, told you that iran was unlikely to be aggressive although they'd also warned that iran would try to meddle in iraq, would want to insure a leading role for its proteges, would want to minimize the size and duration of a u.s. presence post-saddam, had interests throughout iraq and
might pursue them in the south through armchair groups all of which turned out to be fairly accurate but, again, perhaps to a degree unstated. >> yeah, look, there were many comments in that that basically said, look, iran is not going to take an aggressive posture. >> that's exactly what you said earlier and what i said and what it says, and it also talked about active neutrality. again, my question to you is to what ec tent should the advice to you about this been better be given that it's no surprise to anybody that the iranians do not like the usa and u.k.? and we're not likely to share our object i haves, and particularly we're not likely to welcome a democratic state which we were trying to create being installed in iraq with the help of the americans and the british? so shouldn't the jic, shouldn't other advisers have worked on a rather more pessimistic
assumption, that iraq was going to seek to try to interfere with our success rather than cooperate with it or preserve a neutral stance towards it? the if i can just have a fairly short answer on that because, again, we covered quite a lot of this last year. >> you might say with hindsight, yes. i think at the time people didn't think that, and, you know, we had been engaging with iran over this. we'd been engaging with the new sanctions, debate and so on and, no, i think we -- and this brings me to my point. because you made a point earlier that, you see, i also think needs amendment. how do you deal with al-qaeda? you can't deal with them unless you deal with the pigger picture -- bigger picture which includes iran. that's my view. because i don't think this is -- i think iran took a strategic decision and has now gone down a
path of where it believes that it is an existential threat to the maintenance of this theocracy to have progress and modernization happening in that region. >> well, that neatly brings me to my positively final question which is that one of the truck drivers of of the -- drivers of the decision to deal with saddam and iraq as we've heard from, again, numerous witnesses was the hope that this would send a very powerful signal to nations like, well, particularly iran and north korea that we're trying to develop nuclear -- that were trying to develop nuclear weapons. of course, contacts with libya were already underway and led to a success in the autumn of 2003. but iran with north korea was a country of highest concern, and it's a country of even higher concern now for exactly the reasons you've given. so was the effect of the action that we took in iraq at least with regard to nuclear
proliferation the reverse nuclear proliferation in iran, the reverse of what we'd intended? is that how it's actually turned out? >> no. i don't think so. >> you mean it's deterred iran? >> no the. i think to begin with there was real pressure on iran, and i think we restarted imoarkses with them over their nuclear program. north korea came back into the six-party talks. i think now we're in a different situation, but i want to make this point very clearly because it comes out in the paper of lord williams. the thing that is said most often to me in the middle east by people who opposed what i did , they say you've made iran more powerful. by getting rid of saddam. and my answer to that is very simple, and it's fundamental to this whole question. the answer to iran is not saddam. that was our policy back in the
1980s, and can all we did was then create a monster we couldn't control. >> but getting rid of saddam's nuclear weapons by decapitating the regime, did it send the signal to iran not to go on developing nuclear weapons? >> well, obviously, it sent a signal to everyone which is why libya -- >> yeah, but how have the iranians reacted to that? >> initially, they felt that pressure. now, they don't -- >> do they feel they need them more in case the americans -- >> that is not the reason why iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. >> it was doing it even under the shah. >> well, it's a rather different regime to do. look, i'm out -- people can take two views about iran today, but i will give you my view very, very strongly indeed because this is a looming and coming challenge. i'm out in that region the whole time. i see the impact and influence of iran everywhere. it is negative, destabilizing, it is supportive of of terrorist
groups. it is doing everything it can to impede progress in the middle east peace process and to facilitate a situation in which that region cannot embark on the process of modernization it urgently needs. and this is not because we've done something. you know, at some point, and i say this to you with all the passion i possibly can. at some point the west has got to get out of this what i think is a wretched posture of apology for believing that we are causing what the iranians are doing or what these extremists are doing. we're not. the fact is they're doing it because they disagree fundamentally with our way of of life, and they'll carry on doing it unless they are met by the requisite determination and, if necessary, force. and the fact -- look. president obama, not president bush, this is an important point, president obama goes in march 2009, he goes to cairo, right in the heart of islam. he makes a speech where he says, effectively, put aside the bush
era. i'm now offering you the hand of friendship. you, iran, can come in this, you're an ancient, proud civilization. we will welcome you in. what's the response he gets? they carry on with the terrorism, they carry on with the destabilization, they carry on with the nuclear weapons program. now, at some point we've got to get our head out of the sand and understand they're going to carry on with this. and we are -- iraq is one part of a far bigger picture, and can right across that region people are facing that struggle. >> mr. blair, in a moment we're going to ask you for the lessons you want to draw from iraq in particular and more broadly, but before we do that, and we have only moments left, i think, sir martin gilbert would like to ask one final question. >> yeah. >> i'd like to ask a final question about your stewardship of iraqi policy, and that is the
afghan dimension. in your statement to us, you commented: afghanistan did not effect decisions on drawing down troop levels in iraq. those explicit confirmations from the military about decreased deployment in afghanistan was not dependent on sticking to a scheduled drawdown. you previously confirmed to us that the suggestion for raising troop levels in afghanistan came from the mod. general sharif told us in his ed that, in his view, a decision had been taken to open up a second front in afghanistan before the situation in iraq was satisfactorily resolved. and lord walker told us in his evidence that the afghan conflict was, as he put it, absolutely a brief of the defense planning assumptions. should the military advice on whether it was possible to sustain operations in iraq and afghanistan simultaneously have been revised as the situation in iraq deteriorated, and did you seek such advice? >> well, i, my recollection is
that we very specifically did ask whether, if we were going to increase our position in afghanistan, that was going to be a problem if for us in iraq and could we maintain both the uplift and, and the commitment to iraq. and my recollection is that john reid actually very specifically asked for this to be done. so, yes, this was, this was very much part of our thinking. now, it would have been difficult as the security situation because, you know, again, to go back to it, in the first half of 2005, we were still on track. it was really second half of 2005, tic this thing went -- 2006 this thing went bad. but i would have expected them to come to me and say, you know, we can't do this. and i'm not aware that they did although, you know, the thing about the military is that they are, you know, just fantastically good people in the
sense that they will, you know, if you ask them to do it, they'll do it. >> but in the, in all our difficulties in basra when we had to withdraw from basra and go to the airport and so on, this somehow by then there simply was no way in which you could readjust the military balance and wouldn't be true to say once maliki went down into basra that we had to abandon our options and certainly abandon any winning strategy? >> no, i mean, look, you know, again, i think what's happened, is happening in basra today is for all the challenges that still remain there, they're getting somewhere as a city, and that's because british forces were there for years as iraqi capability built up. but where basra was very different from baghdad was that in, in baghdad there were, the problem were the attacks on the civilians, right? in basra the attacks were on us,
right? so it was i think the view of the military, and this is where i think general danner did at some point in 2006 actually says, you know, we're in danger of becoming the problem here. so our perception always was in basra you needed to get to the point where the iraqis did the operation. now, what we did was we wanted to do i think it was called operation salamanca. we then downgraded that because maliki said to me, look, i want to do this as an iraqi operation. so we down braided it somewhat. but in the end the charge was very successful. it was done, actually, by the way, with british support, and it's why we should hold our head high about what we did in basra. >> mr. blair, i know you wanted ten minutes or so to offer us someless e sons that you think -- lessons that you think a future prime minister might benefit from. would that be a good moment?
>> i'll do that, and i'll try and do that and briefly, if i may, sir john. i did, actually, just before i got to those lessons learned, i wanted to say something else. i mean, at the the conclusion of the last hearing you asked me whether i had any regrets. and i took that as a question about the decision to go to war. that i took responsibility. that was taken as my meaning that i had no regrets about the loss of life, and that was never my meaning or my intention. and i wanted to make that clear. that, of course, i regret deeply and profoundly the loss of life whether from our own armed forces, those of other nations, the civilians who help people in iraq or the iraqis themselves. and i just wanted to say that
because i think it is right to say it, and it's what i feel. >> thank you. >> now -- >> [inaudible [inaudible conversations] >> quiet. be quiet, please. mr. blair. >> go to the lessons learned. i've got certain lessons which i'm just going to give you which are really to do with the planning. i've then got one or two other political lessons. one of those political lessons is to do with the link between aq and iran, and what i want to say is what i was saying before and i'll repeat myself now, i wanted to make it very clear to you that i think you need to look at this issue to do with aq in iran in a broader context and also the linkages between the two. because i think there are a
whole series of particularly defense intelligence reports from 2005 and 2006 which are very, very important in this regard and which detail quite extensively the nature of those activities. and so that is one aspect, as it were, on the political. the second is -- and, again, i've committed these to writing which i will give you -- but the second is on our relationship with america. because i think one recurrent theme of this is, you know, this is, the decision that we were going to stand shoulder to shoulder with america, we'd be with america, this american partnership, it's tough to do. it's easy to say, it's tough to do. and that is particularly so in circumstances where in any operation of this size, i mean, america, frankly, is going to be
in the lead and going to have the overwhelming amount of resources and assets. and so the question that people raise perfectly naturally is, well, is it worth it? i mean, is the pain gain ratio really worth it? i think you do have to consider that. my view, obviously, is clear that it is. i think when i look back to kosovo, i don't think we could possibly have done that without american intervention. i think that intervention was absolutely central to being able to deal with that. and so i believe it's important we keep that relationship together. but i think we've got to be realistic about it. you know, when we're in a situation like this, we're going to have to accept that it's going to be difficult and hard because there will be situations in which america is determined to go its own way and where our influence may be be at some levels very great, but at other
levels they will have their own strategies and their own interests. i do think that means that our emphasis on multilateral relationships is also extremely important. i personally think there is an even stronger argument today for developing both european defense capability and, also, nation-build being capacity. because i think in both of those areas we could do far more and, therefore, have more weight and more leverage if we were in alongside others. and i think that's also true, by the way, of the way that the united nations do this too. the work that i do now with the palestinian authority where, actually, we're doing precisely those things in a sense that were also the challenge in iraq, building institutional capacity, building civil policing and security and so on. what i have found from that is
that no one nation, actually not even america, is capable of doing that on its own. it is a cooperative effort, and the capacity should be built on a cooperative basis. the final thing i would say is this, and this is through my experience of being prime minister not just in this situation, but in other situations too. i think what does come across as very frustrates is when i read the evidence of people who have come to you and said, well, we could see there was a real problem here, particularly on the resource question. and i'm in downing street having given a strong instruction to say, look, if there's a resource issue, pay the money, and the chancellor is agreeable to that. i think we need to think about when we're in a situation like this and particularly in the first critical stages of nation building, i think you need a transmission system of information to the prime minister that is qualitatively different from the one we had. and i think, you know, that bit
of it, i think, you know, i changed the downing street structure as you know because originally you had one foreign policy adviser dealing with all foreign policy and northern ireland. i then switched it into, well, effectively three, actually. but one foreign policy dealing with europe, one foreign policy adviser dealing with the rest of the eshoos. issues. but i think in retrospect if you're, for that first period you actually need right situation in capital office number 10 a top-level ability headed by a senior person that is going to go direct to the prime minister. now, that's not to say that your foreign is ec tear, your defense secretary, your development secretaries aren't going to be involved in this. but what does come out to me in some of the pages that's being given to you is the frustration. now, in the end, i don't think it would have got us around the central problem, but i do think that's an important lesson for the future.
i've given some more lessons with planning specifically and also on civil policing, but i will leave that with you, if i might. >> thank you very much. this has been an unusually long session, and i'm grateful to mr. blair for attending this lengthy hearing. and i'm very grateful to those in this hearing room who have listened so attentively and patiently through this long set of proceedings. that attention reinforces for us the importance of the issues for you, some of you here in this room. and with that i'll bring this session to a close. our next hearing will be next tuesday morning at 10:00 when we will be hearing from the former cabinet secretary, lord wilson, who retired in september, 2002. and that is the end of of this