Select Committee on Defence First Special Report

Transition and Reconstruction

Plans and Preparations

Being a junior partner in a Coalition constrained the British Government in its ability to plan independently for after the conflict. (Paragraph 355).

173. The UK worked closely with the US from Autumn 2002 to ensure that contingency planning included planning for the post-conflict phase. Since we were working with the US, it was important that UK and US planning was conducted jointly, as far as possible, rather than for the US and UK to plan independently.


We believe that it was a misjudgement by the Government to have decided that planning to meet the needs of the Iraqi people following a conflict was particularly sensitive—more sensitive, even, than the deploying of military forces. This misjudgement unnecessarily constrained planning for the post-conflict phase. (Paragraph 357).

174. The Prime Minister made clear in his statement of 24 September 2002 the need for preparedness and prudent planning. The details of such planning, including for the post-conflict phase, were necessarily sensitive as some information about the military plan could be extrapolated from details of the post-conflict plan. Furthermore, as our witnesses have explained, we felt that overt planning for the post-conflict would make it appear that military action was inevitable (which it was not) and could seriously prejudice ongoing attempts to reach a diplomatic solution. This should not be taken to imply, however, that robust planning was constrained. Rather that it was necessarily confined to a limited number of people.

175. DFID also led on preparations for a range of humanitarian contingencies, though fortunately no humanitarian crisis transpired. No secret was made of this work and plans were set out on a number of occasions, not least in the written statement to Parliament by the Secretary of State for International Development on 13 March 2003.

176. What was more sensitive were some of the details of post-conflict planning with international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), many of whom DFID had funded in order to be prepared for the possibility of conflict. Several of these organisations were understandably reluctant to admit openly that they were engaging in post-conflict planning and we respected these concerns. This meant that some of the details of their plans were not publicised, but this did not significantly constrain our planning process. In the event, for both security and political reasons, international organisations and NGOs were not able to play as strong a post-conflict role in Iraq as we had hoped. As the government has acknowledged, we also under-estimated the degree of breakdown in law and order which followed the fall of Saddam's regime.

It has also been suggested that DfID's role in post-conflict planning was constrained by the attitude of the then Secretary of State towards the prospect of military action. Although our witness from DfID denied that this was the case, we remain to be convinced. (Paragraph 358).

177. The government undertook considerable post-conflict planning in the run-up to military action. DFID participated closely in this cross-government process, including through its secondment of advisers to the British military and the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Kuwait, and to the cross-departmental Iraq Planning Unit based in the FCO.

The poor co-ordination of planning within the US Administration meant that better co-ordinated British input into the process had less impact than it should have had. (Paragraph 362).

178. Whilst the arrangements for co-ordination of post conflict planning—which by its very nature is a complicated and multi-faceted business involving an enormous range of issues and requiring input from a large number of people with different areas of expertise—within the much larger US system may initially have been uncertain, we do not believe that this significantly diminished the influence which our own thinking had on the overall planning. Planning work done by the UK may have been one factor which helped the US to reach a view on how to best to approach the issues. When co-ordination mechanisms were agreed the UK was able to make an important contribution to the Coalition plan.

The need to maintain a unified Iraq under central control has been a constraint—usually a reasonable constraint—on British freedom of action in the south-east of the country. (Paragraph 364).

179. UK leadership of Multinational Division South-East and the CPA regional coordinating office in Basrah clearly has to be within the context of policies made in Baghdad. However, Multinational Divisions and CPA regional offices do have latitude in the way that they implement those policies.

Perversely, the failure of the wider international community to support the Coalition's military action did little or nothing to constrain that action, but did make it more difficult for the Coalition to restore law and order and to administer Iraq once hostilities were over. (Paragraph 365).

180. We agree that the absence of some international organisations usually active in post-conflict situations did have some effect on immediate post-conflict efforts.


The Government was right to plan for a humanitarian crisis. Such a situation might have arisen, and the Government would have been rightly condemned if its preparations had been inadequate. (Paragraph 369).

181. We agree.

For the Government to argue that it was unaware of the extent of the repressive brutality of the Iraqi regime strains credibility. It was widely known, not least because of information published by the Government. (Paragraph 375).

182. The Government was not arguing that it was unaware of the extent of the repressive brutality of the Iraqi regime but rather that it was difficult to predict in detail what would happen after the regime's removal. In particular the impact on relatively low-level Iraqi administrative structures was greater than we had expected.


Much has been made of the many Iraqis who were involved in looting and destruction in the immediate aftermath of the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime. It should not be forgotten that thousands more were locked up indoors fearing for their security and for their lives. (Paragraph 379).

183. We agree. The establishment of basic law and order was initially hindered both by the other demands on Coalition manpower, including continuing combat operations, and by the unexpectedly large-scale disintegration of local Iraqi authorities including the police.

The scale and shape of the force provided were best suited to achieving the Coalition's desired effects in the combat phase, but not to carrying those effects through into the post-conflict phase. We acknowledge, however, that the scale of force which might have best achieved these effects was beyond the Government's means. (Paragraph 387).

184. It is obviously true that there are limits to the scale of force we could possibly have deployed. We have also acknowledged that the extent to which Iraqi police and armed forces effectively dissolved themselves was greater than we had expected.

A harsh critic might argue that Coalition planning assumed that it would be possible to employ elements of the Iraqi police, army and administration to maintain law and order, because the alternatives were too difficult to contemplate. That assumption was not only incorrect, but incautious. A realistic judgement, based on good intelligence, should have warned of the risk of serious disorder. (Paragraph 388).

185. The issue of maintaining law and order was recognised and much work was undertaken on predicting the alternative outcomes if disorder occurred. But it should be remembered that the Coalition's intention had always been to enable a rapid transition to Iraqi rule, and the assumption that some elements of Iraqi forces could be quickly co-opted should be seen in this light.

It was indeed crucial to protect Iraq's oil infrastructure from damage, as the main potential source of future Iraqi wealth. But it was a mistake not to have identified and protected (and to have been seen to be protecting) other key buildings and infrastructure as a priority. (Paragraph 390).

186. It would have been literally impossible to have protected every single building of the sort which attracted the attention of looters, without much greater levels of manpower. As we have noted, the virtual disappearance of the Iraqi police and armed forces, combined with other demands on Coalition forces while combat operations were continuing in some areas, contributed to the difficulties the Coalition experienced initially in establishing law and order. Protecting the oil and power system was a priority for both environmental and economic reasons.

If 'a few more' troops were needed to protect key sites, this should have been identified as a scenario at the planning stage, and these troops should have been found and deployed with this specific task in mind. (Paragraph 392).

187. As we note above, it would not have been possible to protect all key sites and prioritisation was necessary. This is not unusual and the solution was to sequence resources and adopt local police to enhance security, engaging the Iraqis in providing for their own security needs. As the Committee has identified, there were joint Iraqi/Coalition patrols within the first week of the campaign. The early difficulties reflected the initial problems encountered in getting Iraqi police officers re-engaged in the task of providing law and order.

The Government should have taken more care to identify in advance sites in Iraq likely to contain records of use to the Coalition, and should have ensured that forces were provided to protect these sites from damage and looting. (Paragraph 397).

188. The issue of trying to obtain records of use to the Coalition was recognised as important. However, Iraq was a difficult intelligence target and detailed information about the locations of such records was not available.

While Coalition forces successfully removed Saddam Hussein's regime with remarkable speed, they were not able to establish themselves on the ground with sufficient speed and precision to avoid a damaging period of lawlessness during which much of the potential goodwill of the Iraqi people was squandered. (Paragraph 398).

189. We agree that the early law and order problems were damaging, although we believe that the position was stabilised fairly quickly in most parts of the country.

None of these criticisms, however, should be seen to detract from the thoroughly impressive way in which individual members of Armed Forces personnel demonstrated their ability to accomplish the transition between warfighting and peacekeeping operations swiftly and effectively. (Paragraph 399).

190. We agree that the UK Armed Forces personnel adapted quickly and effectively to peacekeeping operations at the end of the end of major combat operations. Their performance since that time has again demonstrated their professionalism and versatility.

We commend the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the performance of its humanitarian role in Iraq, before, during and after the combat phase of operations, and we commend British forces for the way in which they cooperated with the ICRC. (Paragraph 402).

191. We are grateful for the Committee's observations.


We recommend that the Government should consider closely, in the light of operations in Iraq, how the United Kingdom provides peace support capabilities, and in particular how the transition is managed between warfighting and peacekeeping. We further recommend that the Government should consider whether either a dedicated part of the Armed Forces, or even a separate organisation altogether, could be specifically tasked with providing these capabilities. (Paragraph 407).

192. The UK MOD generates peace support capability as part of military capability. UK Forces are trained and equipped to carry out peacekeeping, Peace Support Operations and warfighting operations as an integral part of a campaign, and often have to transition between these scenarios, as in Iraq. As the Chief of the General Staff stated to the Committee, recent operational experience has shown that a deployed force may be involved in warfighting, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations simultaneously, the so-called '3-block war'. The best way to prepare for the demands of this type of operation is to train primarily for warfighting. In modern operations there is no clear transition between warfighting and peacekeeping and it would therefore incur unnecessary operational risk to employ a dedicated part of the Armed Forces solely for peace support operations.

193. Transition from conflict to post-conflict situations is a wider issue for the Government, and national and international objectives for such complex operations cannot be achieved solely by military forces. Indeed, other Government Departments, multinational organisations and the private sector are essential elements, particularly for the process of rebuilding security, social and economic infrastructures. Lessons identified from Operation TELIC, as from other recent operations, have highlighted the need for a multi-agency approach.

194. There are many activities underway across Whitehall to consider methods of better coordinating national efforts in conflict scenarios, for both the conflict prevention stages (including through the Conflict Prevention Pool), and for military-civilian transitions and post conflict reconstruction. Meanwhile a cross-departmental working group (FCO, MOD and DFID) has been set up to consider ways in which to improve UK planning, co-ordination and management of post conflict reconstruction activities.

We are concerned about the continuing requirement on the ground for specialists from the military in areas which would under other circumstances be provided by civilian organisations. Many of these specialists will be reservists, and their prolonged deployment may have adverse consequences for retention in specialisms which are already suffering from undermanning. (Paragraph 411).

195. In the main, reservists have not been called-out specifically to fill specialist civilian administration roles. Only two reservists who volunteered to be mobilised have been called-out specifically for their civilian skills. For the rest, the fact that they possessed skills associated with their civilian employment which could be utilised during the reconstruction of Iraq was fortunate, but not planned. This is a prime example of the benefits that reservists bring to the Armed Forces. With regard to "prolonged deployments" in general reservists have served no longer than six months in Iraq. A small number have served longer, but this is because they volunteered to do so. We do not believe that this will have an adverse effect on retention.

196. The work referred to in the response to recommendation 111 should reduce the need to use reservists for these purposes. We are also conscious that post-conflict operations in Iraq are unusual in that the UK is Occupying Power with the full range of responsibilities which that involves.

We agree that the provision of language training will need to be re-examined if the Armed Forces are to be more involved in expeditionary operations in the future. In an effects-based operation aiming to win over hearts and minds, an ability to communicate with the local population is vital. (Paragraph 414).

197. We agree. Language training is currently being reviewed through a series of processes which will produce an effective and efficient way of achieving this objective.

Preparations should have been made in advance of the military campaign to ensure that police advice on maintaining law and order would be available as soon as possible after the end of the combat phase. (Paragraph 416).

198. The Government accepts that we underestimated the extent of civil disorder problems that we would face and the dislocation of Iraqi civil administrative structures. However, we quickly adapted to the situation, and deployed civilian police advisers from the beginning of July. The security situation prevented us from deploying a large civilian police force before then. We have been undertaking substantial work to build Iraqi security capability ever since. There are now almost 80,000 Iraqi police. This is a very important step towards gradually giving responsibility for security in Iraq to Iraqis as their capability increases.

While we support entirely the notion that Iraqis should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own security, we are concerned that local militias which have been allowed to operate in the south-east of Iraq may represent vested interests. There is a danger that these may seek to use their position to pursue agendas which might not be to the advantage of the people of Iraq more generally. (Paragraph 417).

199. We agree with the Committee that in the long-term, allowing independent militias to operate unchecked in Iraq is against Iraq's national interests. This principle is encapsulated in the Transitional Administrative Law, which states: "Armed forces and militias not under the command structure of the Iraqi Transitional Government are prohibited, except as provided by federal law."

200. In practical terms, we continue to work at integrating personnel from existing militias into Iraq's emerging national security structures, including the Iraq Civil Defence Force, and the New Iraqi Army.


The circumstances of the conflict in Iraq were particular: operations without broad international consensus in a country with a relatively advanced but extremely decrepit infrastructure. While MOD is right to assess whether a national capability to repair infrastructure is required, it would be wrong to assume that a capability which might have been useful in Iraq will necessarily be required in future operations. (Paragraph 422).

201. The MOD has contributed significantly toward the programme of infrastructure repair in Iraq. Of course, no two crises will be the same, and such events will often call for different sets of technical skills and capabilities. Whilst reconstruction efforts post conflict are not core military business, the flexibility and resourcefulness of British servicemen and women resulted in the adaptation of specialist military skills to ensure essential work was completed in Iraq.

202. Despite the different types of operations undertaken by UK forces, there are capabilities that have proven to be common to many post-conflict scenarios. A cross-government and, where possible, international approach to infrastructure requirements is key to ensuring that such objectives are met. In this broader context, a cross-departmental group is investigating ways of improving HMG's planning, coordination and management of post conflict reconstruction issues—this includes civilian (public and private sector) deployments in order to provide capability and harness relevant expertise.

Quick Impact Projects are, as one of our interlocutors told us in Iraq, a 'band-aid' solution, which cannot hope to approach the scale of the reconstruction effort required in Iraq. But they have been a vital tool for showing that there are immediate benefits from the presence of Coalition forces and the end of Saddam Hussein's rule. We commend all those involved. (Paragraph 425).

203. We agree that the Quick Impact Projects have been successful in making a visible difference in the post-conflict period. The most important effect was on the local civilian population, who benefited from investment of small sums in the areas of health, education, law and order, essential public services (sanitation, water, power) as well as some 'normality' of life (banks, transport).

204. By late November the British Army had planned or carried out 634 projects worth £9.4m. The smallest project—repairing an ambulance for a small community—cost £25. Around 40 projects have been worth £40,000 or more. The remainder have been smaller sums.

205. This has shown that the UK Services are fully committed to improving life at street level, as the larger reconstruction projects were being planned. The gaining of trust has been enhanced at relatively low cost, and the benefit has been to the UK military as well as the local population.

Coalition efforts to clear unexploded ordnance throughout Iraq will make the country a far safer place for the people who live there. But the failure to provide sufficient forces to guard and secure munitions sites in the weeks and months after the conflict cost Iraqi civilian lives, and also provided potential enemies of the Coalition with a ready stock of easily accessible weaponry. (Paragraph 431).

206. The Divisional Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams worked tirelessly to clear unexploded ordnance in the MND(SE) area of operations but the scale of the problem led to a contractor being employed to deal with the clearance of the 67 captured Enemy Ammunition (CEA) sites. Despite clearing between eight to 10 tonnes of ammunition per day by April 2004, 24 sites still remained. These sites were widely dispersed, generally poorly constructed and in some cases contained up to 1000 tons of often-unstable explosives, which had to be destroyed in situ. The requirement to secure these sites once they had been identified was well understood by commanders but with finite resources available, the guarding of these static sites had to reflect overall priorities. Where possible Iraqis were employed to release Coalition troops. It is estimated that at least six more battlegroups would have been required if MND(SE) were to physically guard every site, and this is simply not a realistic proposition.

The Government should look again at whether the relatively modest funds that it has dedicated to supporting the clearance of unexploded ordnance in Iraq are adequate for the task at hand. (Paragraph 432).

207. MOD committed a very large proportion of its deployable EOD capability to theatre. At its peak, this consisted of around 240 trained EOD personnel from all three Services and a significant number of additional Royal Engineers and others involved in securing and marking EOD sites. Together, they made a vital contribution to addressing the problems of explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Iraq; since the beginning of the conflict they have cleared around a million items of ERW. However, experience suggests that humanitarian ERW clearance is best funded through NGOs and commercial demining companies. Such organisations have years of experience of unexploded ordnance clearance in a wider range of situations than do UK forces. They also often have better contacts and, in working with local people, they obtain a far better picture of the problems and clearance requirements than our forces could alone. Funding for these bodies, which is administered by the Department for International Development, provides a faster and more needs-driven ERW clearance operation than could be performed by our Armed Forces alone.

Mistakes were made in identifying potential local leaders, and without better intelligence and a better understanding of Iraqi society, such mistakes were probably inevitable. (Paragraph 437).

208. The repressive nature of the Iraqi state ensured that there was no ready-made alternative leadership. The challenge of identifying political leaders was compounded by the fact that Iraq was a difficult intelligence target.

The Armed Forces have done their utmost to fulfil their responsibilities to the Iraqi people as the occupying power, and we applaud them. But they have been under-resourced for this enormous task. It is unreasonable to expect the military to have a fine-grained understanding of how an unfamiliar society operates; but without this understanding, and without substantial civilian support in the form of experts and interpreters to help them to gain this understanding, mistakes were bound to be made which would make it more difficult to construct the kind of Iraq that the Coalition wants to see: stable, secure and prosperous; a threat neither to its neighbours nor to the wider world. (Paragraph 441).

209. Fulfilling the UK's responsibilities as Occupying Power is the responsibility of the Government as a whole and not only the Armed Forces. Approximately 400 civilian employees have been seconded to the Coalition Provisional Authority as the vehicle for discharging these responsibilities and the Government has committed £544 million to the reconstruction of Iraq. The Armed Forces have played a substantial role in the administration of Iraq, particularly in the provision of security. Whilst we of course acknowledge that there is always room for improvement in specific areas, we do not accept as a general proposition that the Armed Forces have been under-resourced for the task.

210. As noted previously, there are many activities underway across Whitehall to consider methods of better coordinating national efforts in conflict scenarios, for both the conflict prevention stages and for military-civilian transitions and post conflict reconstruction.

Information Operations

UK Psychological Operations Capabilities

Our evidence suggests that if information operations are to be successful, it is essential that they should start in the period when diplomatic efforts are still being made, albeit backed by the coercive threat of military force through overt preparations. This would allow for the full potential of information operations to be exerted in advance of the start of hostilities and might even contribute to their avoidance. (Paragraph 455).

211. We agree that as a general principle Information Operations should start as early as possible—with the aim of helping avoid hostilities, or, at the very least, minimising their intensity. This approach is firmly embedded in evolving concepts for Effects-Based Operations, which aim to integrate various effects in support of a strategic end-state. Each campaign is, however, unique, and the role of Information Operations in each will vary. Our pursuit of a diplomatic solution to the Iraq crisis meant that military preparations needed to be carefully measured. This was reflected in the themes and messages of the overall Information Campaign which operated in support of that approach.


We believe that the British information operations campaign did not begin early enough. We are concerned that the lessons of the Kosovo campaign were not better learned in this important area. It is disappointing that the Coalition is widely perceived to have 'come second' in perception management. However, we recognise that 'coming second' may be inevitable if a conflict of choice is being pursued by liberal democracies with a free media. We are, however, persuaded that information operations are an activity which can be expected to become of increasing importance in future operations. There were a number of successes which provide evidence of the potential effectiveness of information operations. We recommend that the Government should consider significantly enhancing our capabilities in this area. (Paragraph 465).

212. We note the Committee's comments about timing. Like other military preparations, information operations have to be calibrated so as to support and not undermine diplomatic efforts.

213. It is true that an Information Operations campaign which transmits messages that are transparent, credible and true may have difficulties against authoritarian regimes that entirely control their media, and who are prepared to coerce, embroider or lie. This proved, at times, to be the case during Operation TELIC. Iraq's Information Campaign was, however, fatally exposed when independent news organisations were able properly to compare the regime's announcements with actual events. In this sense, and beyond the very short-term, the Coalition's Information Campaign prevailed.

214. More could, however, have been done to limit the regime's Information Campaign abilities, and at an earlier stage. We were, for example, at times unable to prevent, by technical means, the channels the regime used to communicate with the Iraqi population. Had we been able to, we would have denied Saddam publicity in the crucial early stages, whilst retaining the relevant infrastructure for the Coalition and Iraqis to use at a later date.

215. Information Operations are firmly established in the UK's military inventory. As we move further towards Effects Based Operations, we will continue to seek ways to further enhance our capabilities.

Role of the Media

We believe that the importance of the media campaign in the modern world remains under-appreciated by sections of the Armed Forces. The early establishment of a robust media operations capability in theatre must be a priority for any operation. Where an operation is perceived to be a 'war of choice' the ability to handle multiple media organisations in theatre with professionalism and sophistication is essential. (Paragraph 477).

216. We are disappointed that the Committee formed the view that the importance of the media campaign was under-appreciated by sections of the Armed Forces. The importance of media operations is regularly emphasised to military personnel, and has been fully recognised in both this and previous operations. Indeed, during this operation, unprecedented efforts were made in terms of the numbers of media operations staff deployed and the numbers of journalists embedded with the Armed Forces. The development of a robust and high readiness early-entry media capability, as part of the Defence Media Operations Centre continues apace. This work started some time before Operation TELIC.

We strongly believe that the live broadcast of the death of service personnel would be utterly unacceptable. We recommend that MOD begin discussions as a matter of urgency with media organisations to find a solution to this very real possibility in a future conflict. (Paragraph 480).

217. Continuing dialogue with the broadcast organisations has shown that this is just as much of a concern to them as it is to the MOD. Green Book War Correspondent arrangements give some measure of control. Some UK media organisations inserted a 'delay loop' for all their live broadcasts to give them an opportunity to stop broadcasting should such an incident occur. MOD will continue to press its case at every opportunity.

Overall the embedding of journalists with combat units worked well. The experience is likely to be seen as a precedent for future operations. Problems arose, however, firstly with the shortage, particularly early on, of properly trained and experienced media officers in some units and secondly because of the inflexibility of the deployment arrangements of the journalists. We recommend that MOD take steps to avoid these problems arising in future operations. (Paragraph 486).

218. The MOD shares the view that the embedding process worked well, and recognises the practical training, movement and logistic difficulties. A review of the Green Book is underway, which will take into account the views and aspirations of the media themselves, and media training will be much improved with the advent of the Training Centre which will be part of the DMOC.

Whatever the intentions, it is clear that the arrangements to provide a broader context for individual reports from embedded journalists did not work in Operation TELIC. In part this was a consequence of advances in technology and of the growth in 24 hour news channels, both of which can be expected to apply at least as forcibly in any future conflict. MOD needs to consider how better to support the context setting of battlefield information in the future. (Paragraph 495).

219. We agree. Correspondents embedded with front-line units could not, and will rarely be able, to provide operational and strategic level context. Reliance on the Qatar Coalition Headquarters to provide this element proved overly optimistic and consideration is being given to how this might work better in future conflicts. We believe that the media also felt that they could have done better in this regard.

MOD did not fully appreciate how the embedding system, coupled with rolling 24 hour news programmes, would undermine their ability to manage the information coming out of the combat theatre. Nor were they successful in managing the expectations of the different journalists in different centres such as the Forward Transmission Unit and Qatar. We believe that failure to support the media presence swiftly enough with enough adequately trained and skilled media relations personnel was a serious shortcoming and one that MOD should not allow to happen again. It is also the case that this campaign went the Coalition's way most of the time—in the circumstances of a more difficult military campaign it is not clear how the Ministry of Defence would cope with the pressures of unfavourable coverage from the front line. (Paragraph 499).

220. If by "managing the information coming out of the combat theatre" the Committee means ensuring that the information is accurate, complete and in context, then we would agree that this will always be a challenge and could have been improved. We also agree that the managing of journalists' expectations, both in the Forward Transmission Unit and the Qatar HQ, did not go as well as we would have wished. In terms of expectations, it is fair to say that both the military and the press learned much from the experience, but managing expectations will always be a challenge in a multi-faceted, joint, Coalition, high intensity combat situation.

Cause and Effect

We welcome the fact that on this occasion the decision to commit forces followed resolutions of both Houses of Parliament, and believe that it should be seen as an explicit precedent for future combat operations. (Paragraph 504).

221. Constitutionally there is currently no requirement for a Parliamentary resolution before the Government commits UK Forces on an operation. We do not see the decision to seek such a resolution in this instance as constituting a precedent for the future.

The crafting of the targeting set to minimise civilian casualties was not only a choice made by the Coalition in order to achieve a particular effect, or deliver a particular message; it was also a requirement of international law. (Paragraph 514).

222. We note the Committee's observation. Targeting for Operation TELIC scrupulously conformed to international law.

The priority for military planning must be the achievement of military objectives. We are concerned that too great a focus on effects-based planning, and on the part military action can play as one component in a spectrum of political and diplomatic activity, may further complicate the tasks of military planners and commanders who are already operating in an ever more complex battle space and under more intense and intrusive scrutiny than ever before. (Paragraph 517).

223. Military objectives and plans are defined in the context of the UK's wider policy objectives and plans; they cannot be a separate entity.

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