No want for Chilcot-style inquiry into Afghanistan marketing campaign, says Armed Forces chief

The UK does not need to conduct a full Chilcot-style public inquiry his Afghanistan mission because the campaign was a just war, said the chief of the Bundeswehr.

General Sir Nick Carter said the two-decade intervention did not face the same controversy as the Iraq war and did not require the same type of lengthy and costly public investigation.

The chief of defense also said that while the Taliban won the propaganda war after the US and NATO withdrew, the insurgents did overwhelmed by their recent gains. He predicted that if the Afghan government remained united, it could hold the country’s major cities against the militants.

Sir Nick’s comments came after calls for a public inquiry into the campaign, which cost billions of pounds and killed 457 British soldiers, sailors and airmen.

Sir John Chilcots seven year investigation heard from 150 witnesses and looked at thousands of documents to investigate Tony Blair’s decision to wage war in Iraq, whether troops were prepared and how the aftermath was dealt with.

His twelve-volume report tore into the planning, preparation and budgeting of the military campaign, which killed 179 soldiers, and stated that it ended “very far from success”.

Earlier this month, Lord Dannatt, a former chief of staff, said that British troops are now troops Left Afghanistan “The real test must begin and a public inquiry along the lines of Chilcot’s Iraq must be launched.”

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons Defense Committee, also called for a “Chilcot-style investigation so that we can learn the lessons of what went wrong”.

But Sir Nick told The Telegraph, “You have to remember why we had a Chilcot investigation. As far as I remember, it was because some big questions were raised about the justice of the war in Iraq. I don’t think so. that anyone is questioning the true justice of the war in Afghanistan. “

He said the military campaign was backed by a UN Security Council resolution and that NATO members invoked the alliance’s mutual defense pact after the 9/11 attacks.

“It was very clear why the international community went to Afghanistan to do what it did and no one questioned that,” he said. “I think we need to put the reason we could conduct a public inquiry into perspective, and I don’t think anyone would criticize the decision to engage people in Afghanistan.”

Sir Nick added that while there are “many good lessons that can be learned from the way the campaign is carried out … I am not sure if this is necessarily to be done as a public and likely very costly investigation. Rather, I think it should be “a reasonable, transparent exercise within the government”.

The Taliban have swept the Afghan government out of dozen of rural districts in the two months since Joe Biden announced the final of his troop withdrawal. Sir Nick, who had served in the country for nearly three years in total, said the militants had overwhelmed themselves and the Afghan armed forces had consolidated.

He added: “If Kabul stand united and they manage to supply and support the Afghan army so that it can keep the main provincial capitals, then I don’t think the rally that is Taliban uprising will be likely can develop its effect. “

Brazil fears third Covid wave as Bolsonaro faces parliamentary inquiry

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is undergoing a congressional investigation into the mismanagement of the pandemic.

Andressa Anholete | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Health experts fear the Brazilian Covid-19 disaster could get worse in the coming months, while a parliamentary investigation into the government’s response to the pandemic is likely to increase political pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro.

South America’s largest country, previously known for its leadership skills in health crises, has grown into an international pariah amid the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil has had the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in the world outside of the United States, is, and is, behind in terms of vaccinations still without an effective and coordinated public health response to the outbreak.

An official investigation, approved by the Brazilian Supreme Court, opened late last month to look into the government’s handling of the pandemic, which killed more than 428,000 people. The investigation could pave the way for Bolsonaro’s impeachment, though analysts say political opponents of the right-wing leader may prefer to contest the president in the October 2022 election.

Bolsonaro allegedly said he was “not worried“About the investigation. A Brazilian government spokesman did not respond to a request for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly spoken out against public health measures, which have become a political battleground in Brazil, and continues to oppose any lockdown measures to contain the spread of the virus.

“The current unrestrained epidemic will not be overcome without a dramatic change in direction,” said Dr. Antonio Flores, Infectious Disease Specialist and Covid Medical Advisor at the Medecins Sans Frontieres aid group in Brazil.

He said that if life goes on normally, “with such a high daily incidence, all you can expect is a new wave of cases, an additional thousands of deaths and more pressure on the already stretched health system.”

A gravedigger walks among the graves of COVID-19 victims at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, on April 29, 2021.

MICHAEL DANTAS | AFP | Getty Images

His comments echo warnings from other health experts that Brazil could soon see a third wave of Covid infections in the coming weeks. It is feared that the country’s weak vaccination efforts will not be enough to prevent a new surge in the winter months of June through September with indoor gatherings and activities particularly risky.

Flores told CNBC that all available public health measures should be stepped up “as soon as possible” and that the country’s vaccination campaign needs to be accelerated. He added the need to put in place an effective testing and traceability system, as well as coherent guidelines on public health restrictions.

“A crucial element in next year’s elections”

By May 12, around 15% of Brazil’s 211 million residents had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine Statistics compiled of our world in data. Chile has now vaccinated almost 46% of its population with at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. This reflects one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Brazil’s lower vaccination rate means millions of people across the country and beyond its borders are at risk from more than 90 variants of the coronavirus currently circulating in the country. in addition to any new mutations that may appear.

Brazil’s Covid vaccination campaign is in stark contrast to its response to the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009, when 92 million people were vaccinated against the virus in just three months. The main difference this time around, analysts say, is Bolsonaro’s refusal to take a science-led approach to addressing the health crisis.

This is a very dangerous government, but since it was democratically elected, very little can be done at the moment to push back.

Ilona Szabo

President of the Igarape Institute

The Pan American Health Organization announced on Wednesday that nearly 40% of all global Covid-related deaths reported in the past week have occurred in the Americas. Almost 80% of the intensive care units in the region are currently staffed with patients. PAHO director Carissa Etienne warned it was clear that the broadcast “far from being controlled“Although the US and Brazil are reporting declines in some cases, Reuters reported.

Brazil recorded more than 76,000 cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, after peaking at over 100,000 daily infections in April. In terms of infection numbers, it remains the third worst Covid-affected country in the world after the United States and the United States India respectively.

“I think while the situation in India has gotten significantly worse lately, the numbers in Brazil have risen to a very, very high level. The country has actually been in a collapse for months,” said Oliver Stuenkel, Associate Professor of International relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, said CNBC by phone.

A man will be vaccinated against Covid-19 by a health worker in a remote area of ​​Moju, Para state, Brazil on April 16, 2021.

JOAO PAULO GUIMARAES | AFP | Getty Images

“What is really so fascinating is that (former US President Donald) Trump and to some extent (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi are paying a political price. Bolsonaro has been able to and has not retained fairly high political support by a combination of factors done. ” however, had to pay for it because its strategy of avoiding responsibility has so far been remarkably successful, “he added.

Analysts said the government’s investigation into treatment for the pandemic will typically take around three months, but the process can take much longer.

Stuenkel said he expected the investigation to take about six months since “the real goal is to hammer home the news on the evening news that Bolsonaro was to blame”.

“Essentially, I think the investigation will be vital because if the investigation cannot change public opinion at this point, after 400,000 people have died and basically the health system has finally collapsed, basically nothing can .. . For me the crucial element is next year’s election, “he added.

What happens next?

Earlier this week, former Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who was fired over a year ago after resisting Bolsonaro’s push to use the malaria drug chloroquine as a covid treatment, testified ahead of a parliamentary inquiry.

Mandetta said Bolsonaro was to be something entirely conscious that the treatment had no scientific basis. Former US President Donald Trump had also pushed for the use of the related drug hydroxychloroquine amid the pandemic, despite a lack of scientific evidence.

“Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous government, but since it was democratically elected, very little can be done right now to push back,” said Ilona Szabo, president of the Igarape Institute, a think tank based in Rio de Janeiro.

Szabo said that while she did not believe the investigation would have “immediate” political implications, “it is important that what happens today has ramifications for the future.”

“It is proven that they are responsible and that most of the deaths were preventable,” said Szabo.

String of ex-PMs anticipated to look earlier than ‘Line of Obligation-style’ lobbying inquiry

A number of former Prime Ministers are expected to appear on a Line of Duty-style investigation into the Westminster lobby scandal.

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) will investigate lobbying rules as questions continue to be asked about David Cameron’s leisurely chats and texts with ministers.

It is thought Tony BlairGordon Brown and Sir John Major will be asked to testify before the committee.

And David Cameron’s spokesman has already said that the ex-prime minister would respond “positively” to any invitation to a parliamentary committee.

According to the Telegraph, the only surviving former prime minister not invited to testify will be Theresa Maywho is still a seated MP.

Details of the committee’s investigation are expected to be released this week.

Chairman William Wragg said, “PACAC may not be Whitehall’s AC12, nor are we planning to come across anything as exciting as a TV drama.

“However, it is at least a sense of duty that motivates our work, just as duty and service motivate the vast majority of people in public life. We must not allow the questionable judgment of a few to tarnish everyone. “

The PACAC probe is one of seven inquiries the government is facing in response to the Greensill series.

The National Audit Office, which reviews government spending, announced an investigation into Greensill and its stake in Greensill Coronavirus Support programs.

The Treasury Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and the Committee on Standards in Public Life will examine various aspects of lobbying.

David Cameron’s spokesman said he would respond “positively” to any invitation

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Cabinet Secretary Simon Case ordered officials to urgently clarify whether they have moonshine in the private sector after it was discovered that a senior official had worked for Greensill while on the government payroll.

And the prime minister’s investigation, led by the non-executive director of the business division, Nigel Boardman, will look at lobbying David Cameron on behalf of Greensill – but will have no enforcement powers and will likely not make recommendations.

Environment Minister George Eustice defended David Cameron today for his leisurely conversations and texts with ministers such as the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on behalf of the failed bank Greensill.

“He didn’t break any of the rules. That is acceptable, ”said Eustice.

He also argued that ministers do not have to explain who they are meeting with because it does not “matter”.

“Basically, it depends on how the ministers react and not with whom they speak,” he said.

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He argued that in his role he meets a range of people including voters, farmers and environmental activists.

He said, “What matters is not who I’ve talked to, but whether I’m overly influenced by the people I talk to. And I’m not.”

BBC presenter Andrew Marr told him his argument was “let’s regulate, we are above suspicion”.

In response, Mr Eustice argued that the lobbying rules – which allowed David Cameron’s texts to Mr Sunak to go undeclared and the “private drink” with Matt Hancock to go undeclared – were already “robust”.

“What we have,” he said, “are some pretty robust systems. And the principle is the ministerial code, and this is how ministers act based on the people they have spoken to.”

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In November, Sir Alex Allen, former ministerial code officer, resigned Boris Johnson suspended his advice and refused to dismiss Home Secretary Priti Patel for “bullying” behavior.

Mr Eustice, who defended former Prime Minister Cameron, argued that former ministers cannot be “disapproved” of taking on new posts two years after leaving government.

Mr. Eustice, who was Mr. Cameron’s press secretary as opposition leader, said: “I think the most important thing is that he didn’t break any of the rules.

“It’s acceptable because it was within the rules.

“The point I want to make is that when ministers step down, including prime ministers, they are not allowed to take on such paid roles for two years – these are rules David Cameron himself put in place.

“He stepped down five years ago and you can’t allow people to pursue a different career.”