7 Dec 2009

Iraqi political situation in 2004-2005

The inquiry kicks off this morning with Baghdad 2004-5. The first hearing starts at 11.30am, with diplomat Edward Chaplin, who we heard from in the first week.

Today he speaks in his capacity as the UK’s first ambassador to Iraq in 12 years, in 2004-5. The inquiry is expected to question him on the political situation at the time, what was trying to be achieved – and how this related to the reality.

This afternoon, things turn to post-invasion Iraq, with evidence from Major General Timothy Cross, the UK’s rep at the American-led Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) in 2003, and Desmond Bowen, whose Cabinet Office post gave him insight into planning across Whitehall.

We’re told a 26-page witness statement from Cross will also be available before he gives evidence at 2pm… a lot to keep up with – follow live Tweets throughout the day as ever @iraqinquiryblog.