- 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
- British intelligence agencies, meanwhile, maintained
yesterday there was no evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida
- Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited