Britain Forbids Military Chiefs From Discussing Chilcot Inquiry

Gag Order Seen Worsening Morale After Report on Iraq Disaster

The Chilcot Inquiry, a British government report on the illegality of the 2003 US-UK invasion and occupation of Iraq, is a huge issue in Britain, a country which has more than its share of huge issues lately. But while the British military is very much effected by the report, there is a deafening silence from their leadership.

It’s not by accident, as the Daily Telegraph reports that the Cameron government placed a blanket gag order over all military chiefs in the wake of the report’s release, not just forbidding them from making public statements, but also from sharing their views on the matter with soldiers.

The report noted, among other things, that then-Prime Minister Tony Blair had told US President Bush he was down for “whatever” with respect to the war nine months before the invasion, had launched a war despite Iraq’s Saddam Hussein posing no “imminent threat,” and that the British Defense Minister was slow in responding to needs for military equipment and had “wholly inadequate” plans for the post-war situation.

While Cameron appeared desperate to retain full communications control with the military in the wake of the report’s release, defense sources were said to be increasingly concerned about the damage it was having on military morale, less the report itself, although the Blair government’s failures certain raise a few eyebrows, but the total lack of comments from the military leadership, which officials say is giving the impression of a “leadership vacuum.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.