BBC One looks at what became of the Bush-Blair dream of turning Iraq into a stable, democratic, human rights-respecting showcase for the Middle East in a 2-part documentary titled ‘No Plan, No Peace � The Inside Story Of Iraq�s Descent Into Chaos’.
Airing Sunday part one asks how the American and British Governments undertook the biggest occupation of a foreign country in modern times without a coherent plan.
Maker John Ware reveals, with testimony from British and Americans who were there, how the drumbeat to war drowned out the repeated warnings from British Generals, civil servants and the British Embassy in Washington of the “black hole” in American post-war planning.
One General, seconded to work with the Americans, recalls their position: “The long-term plan was � we do not need a plan.”
Monday’s second part reveals criticism of the mismanagement of the occupation through the testimony of high-ranking diplomats, senior political advisors and the top military commanders who were there.
Having invaded without a detailed plan of governing a country of 26 million Muslims, British and American officials tell the programme the assumptions made about Iraq were badly wrong.
The programme looks at how anarchy and looting on an industrial scale dominated from the start. The security problem goes from bad to worse � 500,000 tonnes of ammunition were left unguarded and slipped into the hands of criminals and insurgents. Some would argue that the Coalition began on the back foot and never recovered the initiative.
One former British General who was part of the reconstruction team described the situation in Iraq as “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory”.