Senior Army officer urged Blair to delay war two days before Iraq invasion

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London, Dec. 8 (ANI): Two days before the start of the Iraq war, a senior Army officer asked former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to delay the invasion as a "coherent post-war plan" was not "anywhere near ready," an Iraq war inquiry panel has been told.

Major General Tim Cross, who was attached to the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) set up by the US to manage post-war reconstruction, said he told Blair on March 18, 2003 that post war plans were "woefully thin".

"We talked for about 30 minutes or so. I was as honest about the positions as I could be, essentially briefing that I did not believe post-war planning was anywhere near ready," The Telegraph quoted Cross, as saying.

"I told him that there was no clarity on what was going to be needed after the military phase of the operation, nor who would provide it. I offered my view that we should not begin that campaign until we had a much more coherent post-war plan," he added.

He also criticised the then International Development Secretary Clare Short, who subsequently resigned over the war.

"We did have DFID (Department for International Development) representation, but it was nowhere near sufficient to meet our needs. Considering the expected scale of the humanitarian suffering, the projected numbers of (refugees), civilian casualties, etcetera this was, once again, more than a little disappointing," he said. (ANI)

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