Wales politics

Blair was 'gung-ho' on Iraq invasion, says Archbishop

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The Archbishop of Wales has criticised former Prime Minister Tony Blair over his emphatic defence of the Iraq war.

The comments from Dr Barry Morgan come just days before Sir John Chilcot sets out a timetable for the publication of his report on the conflict.

Mr Blair has apologised for mistakes in the conflict, but says without invasion Iraq might have become another Syria.

But Dr Morgan said the implications of the actions should have been considered.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement programme, the archbishop said Mr Blair "has to live with his conscience".

"He seems to have been a bit gung-ho about going to war without thinking through the implications of what would happen afterwards," said Dr Morgan.

"It would seem to me that if you are the prime minister, it's no good just removing one regime without thinking what's going to replace it.

"At least he has admitted that that was a mistake, but I would have thought that if you are a statesman, you should have thought of that before embarking on the action."

Syria lessons

The ex-PM admitted errors were made in an interview - which is yet to be broadcast - with US news channel CNN.

He said "those of us who removed Saddam" did bear some responsibility for the situation in Iraq today.

But Dr Morgan said there was also a lesson in Iraq for the current UK government and its leaders.

"We ought to be very careful what we might be about to do in Syria as well," he said, referring to any escalation in UK military intervention in the civil war and so-called Islamic State conflict in Syria.

"The solution is far worse than the problem there in the first place."

You can hear the full interview with Dr Barry Morgan on the BBC Radio iPlayer - available until 22 November, 2015.

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