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Über dieses Buch

This book examines the decisions by Tony Blair and John Howard to take their nations into the 2003 Iraq War, and the questions these decisions raise about democratic governance. It also explores the significance of the US alliance in UK and Australian decision-making, and the process for taking a nation to war. Relying on primary government documents and interviews, and bringing together various strands of literature that have so far been discussed in isolation (including historical accounts, party politics, prime ministerial leadership and intelligence studies), the authors provide a comprehensive and original view on the various post-war inquiries conducted in the UK, Australia.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This introductory chapter provides context for the decisions by Blair and Howard to take their nations into the 2003 Iraq war, and looks at the consequences of those decisions, including questions about democratic governance. It provides an outline of the rest of the book which examines: the significance of the alliance with the United States in UK and Australian decision-making over Iraq and the nature of the Iraq war decision in both countries; the role of the media from 2002 to 2003 and the media strategies of the Blair and Howard governments; the post-war inquiries in the UK and Australia; the findings and contribution of the Chilcot inquiry; and the lessons and consequences for the UK and Australia that have flowed from the war decisions.
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Chapter 2. The US Alliance

Abstract
This chapter analyses the key structural factor underpinning UK and Australian involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq; the nature of their respective relationships with the United States and understandings of the requirements that flowed from this. What space did this leave for individual agency? How far did ideological affinity reduce potential dilemmas over the demands of alliance politics? It analyses the historical evolution of each nation’s ‘special’ relationship with the United States, focusing on the post-1945 period. In the UK case, it considers the extent to which Blair’s New Labour project drew its inspiration from the United States and the extent to which this enhanced his government’s sense of loyalty and commitment to the United States
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Chapter 3. Prime Ministerial Dominance: Cabinet, Party, Parliament and the Bureaucracy

Abstract
This chapter examines the contrasting means by which Tony Blair and John Howard were able to dominate their cabinet, parties, parliament and the respective bureaucracies in relation to the Iraq war decision. It argues that Blair’s preference for decision-making in small informal settings rather than the formality of Cabinet was rooted in an approach to media management that had served New Labour well in opposition but also in the nature of the New Labour project and its relationship to the wider party. Howard, in contrast, was a traditionalist who used Cabinet as a sounding board and to bind colleagues to the party line. Partly as a result, he did not have to contend with the same levels of party dissent over Iraq.
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Chapter 4. Managing the Media and Pro-war Spin

Abstract
This chapter analyses the way in which each leader managed the media agenda and contrasts the more challenging media landscape of the UK with the more compliant media landscape in Australia. Both sought to manage the media but Blair’s commitment to persuading public opinion of the need to confront Iraq resulted in the production of public dossiers that had no equivalent in the case of Australia. Despite his obsession with controlling the media agenda, Blair came under attack from a media diverse in its ownership and views. In contrast, Howard proved effective in his ability to use talk-back radio to bypass the Parliamentary Press Gallery and talk directly to the Australian people, while also benefiting from the pro-war position taken by the Murdoch press.
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Chapter 5. Managing the Consequences of War: Post-war Inquiries

Abstract
The failure to find WMD in Iraq following the March 2003 invasion was the subject of, or background to, serial inquiries in the UK and Australia. This chapter examines the circumstances surrounding and findings of the first four of the five UK inquiries to consider the case for and decision to go to war; those undertaken by the Foreign Affairs Committee, Intelligence and Security Committee and the Hutton and Butler inquiries—and the two Australian inquiries; the Parliamentary (Jull) inquiry into Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and the Flood Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies. The chapter analyses the politics of these processes in terms of their creation, terms of reference, ability to access witnesses and evidence, findings, and the reception of their reports.
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Chapter 6. The Chilcot Inquiry

Abstract
This chapter covers the final and most exhaustive UK inquiry into the Iraq war and its consequences. Despite the previous four inquiries in the UK there remained a sense of unfinished business, one that became more acute as the war in Iraq dragged on and casualties mounted. Seven years after Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, commissioned it, in July 2016 the Chilcot inquiry finally produced its report, spanning twelve volumes and running to some 2.6 million words. The chapter considers what Chilcot adds to existing knowledge on the war decision and, more specifically, how it contributes to understanding the failure over Iraqi WMD and the policy maker–intelligence interaction that resulted in this. It also reflects on the significance of Chilcot for Australia.
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Chapter 7. Never Again? Lessons and Consequences for Australia and the UK

Abstract
This final chapter focuses on the lessons and consequences of the Iraq war decision in Australia and the UK. It analyses the contrasting consequences for Blair and Howard as national political leaders and for their parties. It considers core lessons derived from the post-mortem inquiries, including how far these were contested. It considers the impact of UK and Australian support for the Bush Administration on their post-2003 relationships with the United States. Finally, it analyses post-Iraq debates over the role of parliament in war decisions in light of the Blair government’s decision to allow parliament a vote in March 2003. How far has this established a precedent? How far do the combined lessons of the 2002–2003 period mean that a similar scenario can never again arise?
Judith Betts, Mark Phythian

Backmatter

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