Taken from Mr Carne Ross*'s statement to the Chilcot Inquiry.... there was no deliberate discussion of available alternatives to military action in advance of the military invasion. There is no record of that discussion, no official has referred to it, no minister has talked about it. And that seems to me to be a very egregious absence in history, that at some point a government before going to war should stop and ask itself are there available alternatives.
As my testimony makes clear, there was an available alternative. All that argument about tightening sanctions and stopping illegal breaches to me amounted to a very viable, robust alternative to military action that would have had the possible effect of undermining the Saddam regime, and certainly would have prevented any major rearmament ... The fact that that deliberation, that consideration of alternatives, did not take place is, to me, a disgrace.
Please read other extracts from his statement over at the Guardian
Mr Carne Ross is ...
His 17 page witness statement opens with a tribute to Dr. David Kelly.... the Foreign Office "whistleblower" who resigned after speaking out about the war. He worked as a British diplomat at the UN and, in a submission to the Butler inquiry (which was originally secret, but which was subsequently published in 2006), he said that officials did not regard Iraq's WMD programme as a threat to the UK.