Second UK general attacks US Iraq policy

A second general has spoken out against the US’ attitude towards post-war Iraq, heightening differences between the American and British views on the war.

Major General Mike Cross added to comments yesterday by the head of the British Army during the invasion of Iraq, General Sir Mike Jackson, who accused US war architect Donald Rumsfeld as having an “intellectually bankrupt” approach to the war.

In comments to the Sunday Mirror newspaper, Maj Gen Cross said it was clear before the 2003 invasion that American leaders were certain that the Middle Eastern country would make a swift transition to stability.

“The US had already convinced themselves that Iraq would emerge reasonably quickly as a stable democracy,” the senior British planner for post-war Iraq was quoted as saying.

“Anybody who tried to tell them anything that challenged that idea – they simply shut it out.”

Maj Gen Jackson said Mr Rumsfeld “ignored” and “dismissed” his expressions of concern, adding that “with hindsight” he believed the US post-Saddam plan for Iraq was “fatally flawed”.

His comments echo those of Gen Jackson, who yesterday told the Telegraph newspaper that the American expectation of a warm welcome for the coalition forces was “an ideological article of faith” among planners.

He claimed that it had been assumed that the displacement of the dictator meant that “a model democratic society would inevitably emerge”.

Gen Jackson also criticised US foreign policy’s reliance on military force, revealed his doubts about the claims on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and said the work of the US state department had been wasted because of a lack of interest from Mr Bush.

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