Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.6 28 June 2007 To April 2008  


Section 9.6 of the Chilcot Inquiry covers the new British government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown who wanted to withdraw from Iraq and the Charge of Knights security operation launched in Basra against the Mahdi Army. The irony was the British made deals with the Sadrists so it could pull out its forces and then the Iraqi government went after Sadr’s militia and the UK was drawn back into the fight.

 

On June 27, 2007, Gordon Brown became England’s new prime minister. He received a report by the Joint Intelligence Committee that said security in Iraq was unlikely to improve because there was no reconciliation. PM Nouri al-Maliki’s government was weak and divided. The Iraqi army was slowly developing but the police were ineffective often infiltrated by militias and insurgents and was corrupt. It thought many of the police were unreformable. Overall the Iraqi security forces (ISF) could not operate without Coalition support. This was largely the same assessments the British had been making since 2003. They were the first in the Coalition to warn that Iraq was collapsing.

 

The main priority of PM Brown was to withdraw which was a continuation of PM Blair’s plan. Starting in 2006 the UK had opened talks with the Mahdi Army to reduce violence in Basra and pave the way for a pull out. That led to a ceasefire between the two sides in 2007. In the process the British were doing less and less in the province and giving little support to the Iraqi forces while the Sadrists and other militias were gaining power. The governorate was still insecure as a result with up to 900 attacks per week, but to London that didn’t matter because the deal with Sadr meant assaults on its forces were doing down. The Brown government could therefore declare success and get out of Iraq.

 

While the British were reducing its presence to their surprise PM Maliki launched the Charge of Knights campaign in Basra against the Sadrists in March 2008. He did not inform the Americans or British and things went badly for him as a result. Hundreds of police either deserted or jointed the Mahdi Army in the first few days, while the ISF failed to achieve its goals. Maliki refused ask the UK for help at first because he blamed it for the situation in the province. The Americans finally stepped in, and later the British, and the battle was turned. On April 1 Maliki moved his fight against Sadr to Baghdad while mopping up operations continued in Basra. Charge of Knights took London completely by surprise. The fact that it was launched and Maliki’s attitude towards the UK was an indictment of how it had run the governorate. It was giving Sadr free reign in Basra so it could leave which greatly angered Maliki. It was he who decisively confronted the militias not the British. It brought into question what the UK had been doing in the province for the last 5 years.

 

SOURCES

 

The Iraq Inquiry, The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, 7/6/16

 

PREVIOUS CHILCOT REPORTS

 

Review The Report of the Iraq Inquiry, Executive Summary

 

Chilcot Inquiry Sec 1.1 UK Iraq Strategy 1990 To 2000

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 1.2 UK Iraq strategy September 2000 To September 2001

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.1 Development of UK Strategy and Options On Iraq, 9/11 to Early January 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.2 Development of UK Iraq Strategy and Options, January to April 2002 – “Axis of Evil” to Crawford

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.3 Development of UK Iraq Strategy and Options, April to July 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.4 Development of UK Iraq Strategy and Options, Late July to 14 September 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.5 Development of UK Strategy and Options September to November 2002 – Negotiation of Resolution 1441

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.6 Development of UK Strategy and Options, November 2002 to January 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.7 Development of UK Strategy and Options, 1 February to 7 March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 3.8 Development of UK Strategy and Options, 8 to 20 March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.1 Iraq WMD Assessments, Pre-July 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.2 Iraq WMD Assessments, July to September 2002

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.3 Iraq WMD Assessments, October 2002 to March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 4.4 The Search For WMD

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 5 Advice On The Legal Basis For Military Action, November 2002 To March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.1 Development of the Military Options for an Invasion of Iraq

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.2 Military Planning For The Invasion, January to March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.4 Planning and Preparation For A Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, Mid-2001 To January 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 6.5 Planning And Preparation For A Post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, January to March 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 8: The Invasion

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.1 March to 22 May 2003

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.2 May 2003 To June 2004

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.3 July 2004 To May 2005

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.4 June 2005 To May 2006

 

Chilcot Inquiry Section 9.5 June 2006 To 27 June 2007

 

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