BTY Contents


Intelligence : Psychological cf Physical Warfare




Submitted to the Chilcot Inquiry, 17 Nov 09


I would like to offer the Inquiry a concept which may help in the consideration of the detailed evidence, namely the distinction to be made between non-physical and physical warfare. In my view, in the run-up to the 2003 action against Iraq, insufficient distinction was made between the Intelligence information required for psychological warfare and that necessary to justify armed operations. The aim of psychological warfare is to prevail without a shot being fired.  The bombardment of the miscreant with half-truths, exaggerated claims and even untruths can be justified as can the threat created by the movement of Armed Forces without actually using them.  The psychological campaign produced movement by the Iraqi regime and galvanised the UN after more than a decade of stagnation on the issue. However, when it came to justifying physical warfare with its inevitable casualties on both sides, an entirely different approach was needed.  The step-change from purely psychological to physical warfare should have been backed by a corresponding change in the quality of Intelligence information requested and provided. On this basis the Intelligence community should have recognised the need for more reliable information and the Government should have demanded it. I do not think it is necessary to call me as a witness - it is a concept I am suggesting, which may clarify some of the issues before the Inquiry.

H. V. Beck


Hon. Life Member, UN Association - UK