Questions for the Inquiry

We will therefore be considering the UK’s involvement in Iraq, including the way decisions were made and actions taken, to establish, as accurately as possible, what happened and to identify the lessons that can be learned.

Sir John Chilcot 30th July 2009

The Inquiry’s terms of reference are vague and it has scope to address what ever issues it thinks are relevant. In July 2012, in a letter to prime minister David Cameron, Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot set out the intended scope of the Inquiry report. This makes clear that the bulk of the report (said to be over one million words) will cover the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, rather than the decisions and events that led to the invasion.

This page lists what the Digest assesses to be the issues that Inquiry should address.

Overall Questions

The overall questions for the Inquiry are set out here. They are intended to be as broad and as open-minded as possible but they do concentrate on the run-up to the invasion rather than the occupation. Each question links to a new page, setting out what the issues are and a series of further questions.


1) When and how the did UK government decide to join the US-led invasion of Iraq ?
2) Why did the UK decide to take part in the US-led invasion of Iraq?
3) What caused the government to make claims about Iraq’s wmd that turned out to have been untrue?
4) Did the government abuse UN processes to provide cover for the invasion?
5) Was the legality of the invasion correctly addressed?
6) Did the government properly consider the likely impact of its involvement on the terrorist threat to the country?
7) Were the invasion, occupation and reconstruction of Iraq mishandled?
8) Did the UK government mislead subsequent inquiries or did those inquiries fail to convey the truth?

Questions for individual witnesses

The Inquiry’s witnesses are listed here. Where a name constitutes a link, this links to a profile page for the witness, with links to suggested questions for those individuals, i.e. questions that were identified as relevant before the hearing.


11 comments to this article

  1. T. Alan

    on October 1, 2009 at 8:30 pm -

    Question suggestion:

    How much did the ME and Asian energy resources influence the decision to attack Iraq?

  2. rose gentle

    on October 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm -

    when the government says yes to go into iraq
    the new that thy did not have the equipment to send
    the troops in with and the lies on wmd ,these questions have to be ancerd ,and tony blair should be call to ancer questions lessons have to be lernd from this inquiry

  3. Richard Heller

    on October 17, 2009 at 5:36 pm -

    Add to questions: what benefit arose for this country from joining the Iraq war and occupation? The government has been unable to answer this for six years. See “My Little Iraq Dossier” in Also recent non-reply by Gordon Brown to Parliamentary Question from Lynne Jones.

  4. Chris Ames

    on October 19, 2009 at 8:15 am -

    Richard, it is a good question. I shall add as a sub-question of Why did the UK decide to take part in the US-led invasion of Iraq?

  5. john grant

    on October 23, 2009 at 4:01 am -

    If British lawyers acting for Palestinians can get a British judge to issue an arrest warrant for an Israeli general suspected of war crimes why has this route not been taken by lawyers acting for Iraqi’s to get Blair on trial?

  6. michael shaw

    on October 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm -

    I should like to know what the Government’s treatment of weapons inspector David Kelly, before and after his untimely death, says about its true motives and intentions over Iraq and towards the British public.

  7. c robins

    on November 24, 2009 at 6:35 am -

    why were all the caviats ignored in the iraq dossier?
    why has blair never been asked this?

  8. michael shaw

    on November 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm -

    As a measure of the scale of the public outcry against the war before it began, approximately how many people marched or attended rallies and exactly how many letters of protest did the government receive? How many staff were detailed to deal with the correspondence generated (for how long)? How do these numbers compare historically with other issues of national importance.

  9. Joe

    on September 14, 2010 at 8:54 am -

    Michael Shaw,

    I agree, it would be very nice to know exactly how much expression of public opinion Blair really did ignore.
    1 million (estimated) on the streets of Paris is not an irregular occurance, the streets of London however is.

  10. John Russell

    on September 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm -

    Can i ask how much this enquiry is going to cost in total?