LECTURE From Ireland to Iraq, 1963-2009, easy forgetting and hard learning
October 2 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
John Chilcot, Chair of the Iraq inquiry and formerly Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office
Widely known as the Chairman of the report into the Iraq War, Sir John is a Privy Counsellor, and was a career civil servant until his retirement in 1997. As Permanent Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office he was the most senior civil servant there from 1990-1997, a time when tensions were high. He also served as Staff Counsellor to MI5, MI6, GCHQ, and the National Criminal Intelligence Service, advising individuals and groups in the intelligence community on ethical issues and associated concerns.
Commissioned by the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, the Iraq Inquiry opened in November 2009 and ended in February 2011. Conducted in public, with witness sessions live-streamed for broadcast, and paying meticulous attention to gathering, assessing, and cross-examining the mountainous volumes of evidence relating to the events which led to war, the Report was published in July 2016. Its conclusions were critical of the process and reasoning which led to the decision to go to war.
It was also a complex and controversial examination of statecraft over a decade.
Drawing on this experience and his service at the heart of the nation Sir John reflects on the ability of governments to learn from the lessons of the past.
- October 2
- 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm