Ex-UK minister: postwar planning for Iraq lacking

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LONDON (AP) — The head of Britain’s defense ministry during the Iraq war says he was concerned before the invasion that the Americans weren’t putting enough thought into postwar planning.

Former Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon told an official inquiry into the war that planning was not as “detailed and comprehensive as we would have liked.”

Hoon on Tuesday denied the planning had been a disaster, but acknowledged the aftermath of the 2003 invasion “did not go as well as we wanted it to go.”

Britain is holding its third and widest-ranging inquiry into the conflict, which triggered huge protests and in which 179 British soldiers died. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is scheduled to testify Jan. 29.

Two previous reports on aspects of the war cleared Blair’s government of wrongdoing.