The long awaited Chilcot report, besides the many criticisms it makes of the decisions and action taken before the invasion, also makes it plain that, post-Saddam, the lack of planning for, and appropriate action during, the aftermath, has had diabolical repercussions in Iraq, the Middle East and throughout the world.

I see it as yet another example of the historical phenomenon known as ‘winning the war, but losing the peace.’ The First World War is the prime example usually cited, where the winning powers fared ill after the peace settlement of the Versailles Treaty, but you wonder if there are elements of all of this in the Brexit victory in the EU referendum.

Will the Brexiteers face being branded as the winners of the EU ‘war’ but will they (and the country as a whole) end up ‘losing’ the peace?

Only time will tell of course, but if there is a ‘Chilcot’ report on it all in fifty years time, it might well point to the fateful decision to undertake to hold a referendum, the failure to exhaust all other avenues to reform (the EU), the blindly sticking to holding the referendum when the country was ill-prepared for the likely results and then the wholly inadequate planning for what would come after ………….

Away from the sweep of history, there is a fundamental point here – plans for any action must encompass what happens after the intended event takes place – this applies in business as much as in the grander arena of international relations.

Neil Thomas
July 2016

Published on Jul 08, 2016 by Neil Thomas