Brit Military Leaders Question
Iraq War And Ethics
By Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian - UK

An undercurrent of profound unease over a war against Iraq is sweeping through Britain's military establishment, with senior commanders worried about confused objectives and the ethics of launching a pre-emptive strike.
Serious concerns were reflected yesterday by several well-placed sources close to the Ministry of Defence who, because of the sensitivity of the issue, insisted on remaining anonymous. "There is general disquiet not just about the issue of UN resolutions but about the ethical dimension," one said. "There is a feeling that in order to attack there has to be some kind of aggression in the opposite direction. This would be a first".
These underlying concerns were reflected last week by General Sir Jack Deverell, commander-in-chief of allied forces, Northern Europe, who told the BBC he would not like to go to war without the support of the country.
It has also been echoed by a string of former military officers, including General Sir Roficials admit, the US will ask British and other European countries to stay on in Iraq to maintain law and order. "Obviously we will be in Iraq for several years to come", one senior defence official said yesterday. However, sources pointed out that any significant British forces remaining in Iraq would have serious implications for the defence budget.
There is growing frustration among the British military because they still have not been told about their role in US operational plans.
British intelligence agencies, meanwhile, maintained yesterday there was no evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida terrorist networks.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003



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