Add Maj. Gen. Tim Cross to that growing list of people who foresaw disaster in Iraq but were ignored. The senior British liaison to the U.S. reconstruction effort warned his prime minister before the invasion that insufficient postwar planning would lead to chaos. The rest is history.

Britain is currently holding a public inquiry into the Iraq war disaster. The proceedings have been controversial from the start. One member of the committee overseeing the investigation once predicted that George W. Bush and Tony Blair “may well, with the passage of time and the opening of the archives, join the ranks of Roosevelt and Churchill.”

Whatever its faults, pressure to hold the inquiry in the open has yielded important testimony and insight into one of the most calamitous foreign policy blunders in memory. — PZS


At a meeting at No 10 in February 2003, he said he conveyed his concerns to the prime minister about the lack of post-war planning in both the US and UK.

Mr Blair was “engaged”, Maj Gen Cross said, but he claimed he got the sense there was “no coherent, single focus” across the government for post-war planning, nor any clear policy direction.

“I do remember saying, in so many words, I have no doubt at all that we will win this military campaign. I do not believe that we are ready for post-war Iraq.”

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