'Blair knew Bush underestimates post-war difficulties'

Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair joined the U.S.-led coalition forces to invade Iraq although he was aware of that the U.S. government underestimated the post-war difficulties, the Observer newspaper reported on Sunday.

'Blair knew Bush underestimates post-war difficulties'
Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair joined the U.S.-led coalition forces to invade Iraq although he was aware of that the U.S. government underestimated the post-war difficulties, the Observer newspaper reported on Sunday.

Blair was "very exercised" about Washington's post-war plan as early as in March 2002, a year before the invasion, David Manning, Britain's current ambassador to the United States, was quoted as saying.

The Observer reported what Manning said will be shown in a documentary about Blair's days as the prime minister on Britain's Channel-4 television next week.

After visiting Washington at Blair's request in March 2002, Manning, was quoted as saying he gave Blair a memo warning "there is a real risk that the (Bush) administration underestimates the difficulties" in Iraq.

The ambassador said he saw no evidence the issues involved in post-war planning had been thoroughly rehearsed and thought through before the war was launched.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed in the documentary that U.S. President George W. Bush offered Blair the option of helping the war without committing British troops, but Blair replied immediately "No, I'm with you."

Blair, British prime minister since May 1997, is scheduled to quit his post on June 27. Over 150 British soldiers have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led coalition forces invaded the Middle East country in March 2003.
Last Mod: 17 Haziran 2007, 12:32
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