Correspondence between Tony Blair and President George W Bush has been published for the first time today as part of the Chilcot Inquiry.
The letters can be read in full here. They give us a fascinating insight into the countdown to the invasion of Iraq and the relationship between Downing Street and the White House.
The letters cover the period from the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US to 2007, when a sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia was raging in Iraq.
‘Get Saddam out’
Mr Blair was discussing the possibility of ousting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as early as 11 October 2001.
Later in the same memo, he wrote: “I have no doubt we need to deal with Saddam” and: “I am sure we can devise a strategy for Saddam deliverable at a later date.”
He was using the phrase “regime change” in relation to Iraq as early as December 2001, in a note on the coalition’s progress in toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan. (more…)