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Blair Iraq war inquiry: Calculus of risk on WMD changed after 9/11

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair began testifying in front of a special Iraq inquiry about Britain’s involvement in the war on Friday morning. Among the many issues he will be asked to address, Mr. Blair is expected to answer questions about when Britain decided to commit troops to Iraq and whether intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction were embellished to make a case for the war.

Blair has faced much criticism for involving Britain in the unpopular war, and the inquiry is seen by many as a critical moment for not only Blair, but for the entire nation as they try to understand the motivations that led them into the war. The inquiry is Britain’s third major investigation into the Iraq war.

Blair opened the inquiry by saying that, while the threat posed by Saddam Hussein did not increase after 9/11, the “whole calculus of risk” changed. He told the inquiry that the attacks made the threat of terrorism much more daunting to the United States and the United Kingdom, and the two nations had to ensure that terrorist organizations could not acquire weapons of mass destruction, reports the Guardian, which broadcast the hearing live on its website with other major news organizations.

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