U.K. Official Slams Blair on Iraq

As former Prime Minister Tony Blair makes the rounds on his book tour, U.K. Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup is speaking out and calling Blair's Iraq strategy "inadequate." During a hearing at the Commons Public Administration Committee Thursday, Sir Jock said that politicians did not appreciate what they were embarking on when they decided to enter southern Iraq, that the strategy of turning Iraq into a beacon of democracy "didn't work," and that the result was British soldiers "dying for no strategic benefit." "We had people sitting in locations in Basra city unable to execute an aggressive military function, but being shelled, resupply convoys on a daily basis being attacked, people dying for no strategic benefit, and no prospect of strategic benefit down this track. So what was to be done?" Sir Jock told the committee. Stirrup went on to say that the military and civil services, and the country as a whole, needed a "change of culture" that emphasized long-term thinking over tactical thinking.