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Two questions on Iraq

1) If the UK had lined up with the rest of Old Europe in opposing the war, how likely would it have been to go ahead anyway?

2) If the war had gone ahead as a unilateral US operation rather than a US/UK operation, would the outcome have been any different, for better or worse?

(worth noting that even if the answer to 1 is ‘entirely certain’ and the answer to 2 is ‘significantly worse’, I’m not claiming that’d provide sufficient moral justification for UK entry. But it’s an interesting question.)

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  1. Steff Davies
    December 11, 2009 at 10:59 am | #1

    Don't buy that, sorry.

    1) 100% certain, but the occupation would have been unsustainable.

    2) Very, very similar. We had thanks to our early and eager political commitment pretty much no influence on the US effort, and our contribution was hamstrung and eventually pretty much collapsed by under-commitment and political interference.

  2. Steff Davies
    December 11, 2009 at 11:00 am | #2

    Argh – misread. Delete first line based on said misreading. The rest stands, I think.

  3. December 13, 2009 at 3:54 am | #3

    1: Very.

    2: Slightly better because the American army would have sorted Basra out quicker and earlier.

  4. December 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm | #4

    1. Almost certainly.

    2. The outcome in Iraq would probably have been roughly the same. Britain, however, would likely be somewhat different… less polarisation in society, possibly no tube bombings, no dead British soldiers (in that war at least), a shit load of money saved, a British solidarity with Europe that could only have been achieved through standing together against US policy, etc. If nothing else, Blair's legacy would be very different indeed.

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