The former MI5 director general Eliza Manningham-Buller today delivered a withering assessment of the case for war against Iraq, saying it had significantly increased the terrorist threat to Britian.
Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Manningham-Buller said the threat posed by Saddam Hussein before the US-led invasion in 2003 was low.
But the toppling of Saddam allowed Osama bin Laden to gain a stronghold in Iraq and radicalised young Muslims in Britain, she said.
...She said the focus on Iraq had "reduced the focus on Afghanistan", and was damning in her assessment of every stage of the invasion, from the low threat posed by Iraq and the quality of intelligence provided to the reconstruction process after Saddam was toppled.
...She revealed that, during a visit to New York, she had tried to persuade Paul Wolfowitz, the then deputy secretary of defence, not to disband the Iraqi army. Asked whether she had any chance of succeeding, she said: "Not a hope." She said there was "plenty of evidence" that planning for the aftermath of the invasion was "not sufficiently done by the US".