Ministers from Prime Minister Tony Blair downwards, Whitehall mandarins and senior army officers all came in for criticism in Sir John’s seven-year inquiry into the conflict.
Here are the key points:
• The UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before “peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted” and “military action at that time was not a last resort”.
• Saddam Hussein posed “no imminent threat” at the time of the invasion.
• No support for Blair critics’ claim that he agreed a deal “signed in blood” to topple Saddam with US President George W Bush in April 2002.
• In July 2002 Blair wrote to Bush: “I will be with you whatever.”
• The UK’s decision to act despite no second UN resolution backing military action in March 2003 had the effect of “undermining the Security Council’s authority”.
• Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s decision that there was a legal basis for UK involvement in invasion was taken in a way which was “far from satisfactory”.
• Prime Minister Tony Blair’s September 2002 Commons statement and dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) made judgments that “were presented with a certainty that was not justified”.
• The Labour Government’s policy on Iraq was made on the basis of “flawed intelligence and assessments” that should have been challenged.
• The consequences of the invasion were “under-estimated”, and planning and preparation for after the overthrow of Saddam were “wholly inadequate”.
• The Government’s war preparations “failed to take into account the magnitude of the task of stabilising, administering and reconstructing Iraq”.
• Problems that arose following the invasion, including internal fighting, Iranian influences, regional instability and al Qaeda activity, were flagged as risks before the invasion.
• Whitehall mandarins and departmental ministers “failed to put their collective weight behind the task” of stabilising British parts of post-war Iraq.
• The Ministry of Defence was slow to respond to the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to troops.
• Delays in providing better-protected patrol vehicles “should not have been tolerated”.
• It was “humiliating” that by 2007 British troops in Basra had to use prisoner exchanges to get militias to stop targeting them.
• Tony Blair “overestimated his ability to influence US decisions on Iraq”.
• The US/UK special relationship has proved “strong enough to bear the weight of honest disagreement” and “does not require unconditional support where our interests or judgments differ”.