The controversy over Tony Blair’s decision to back George Bush over the Iraq war has been rekindled after a memo emerged showing the Prime Minister pledged to support an invasion a year ahead of the conflict.

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During the eight years between Iraq’s formal declaration of war on September 22, 1980, and Iran’s acceptance of a cease-fire with effect on July 20, 1988, at the very least half a million and possibly twice as many troops were killed on both sides, at least half a million became permanent invalids, some 228 billion dollars were directly expended, and more than 400 billion dollars of damage (mostly to oil facilities, but also to cities) was inflicted, mostly by artillery barrages.

Aside from that, the war was inconsequential: having won Iranian recognition of exclusive Iraqi sovereignty over the Shatt-el-Arab River (into which the Tigris and Euphrates combine, forming Iraq’s best outlet to the sea), in 1988 Saddam Hussein surrendered that gain when in need of Iran’s neutrality in anticipation of the 1991 Gulf War. First, it was inordinately protracted, lasting longer than either world war, essentially because Iran did not want to end it, while Iraq could not.

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Mr Powell praised the presentational skills of Tony Blair, who as Prime Minister secured three election victories – two by a landslide.

The memos are likely to lead to demands for Sir John Chilcot to reopen his inquiry into the Iraq war.

On July 25, 2016, the FBI announced that it would investigate the hack.

The same day, the DNC issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders and his supporters, stating, "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," and that the emails did not reflect the DNC's "steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process." In June 2017, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who was appointed by and served under President Barack Obama, testified before a House Select committee that his department offered their assistance to the DNC during the campaign to determine what happened to their server, but said his efforts were "rebuffed".

Second, it was sharply asymmetrical in the means employed by each side, because though both sides exported oil and purchased military imports throughout, Iraq was further subsidized and supported by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, allowing it to acquire advanced weapons and expertise on a much larger scale than Iran.

Third, it included three modes of warfare absent in all previous wars since 1945: indiscriminate ballistic-missile attacks on cities by both sides, but mostly by Iraq; the extensive use of chemical weapons (mostly by Iraq); and some 520 attacks on third-country oil tankers in the Persian Gulf-for which Iraq employed mostly manned aircraft with antishipping missiles against tankers lifting oil from Iran’s terminals, while Iran used mines, gunboats, shore-launched missiles, and helicopters against tankers lifting oil from the terminals of Iraq’s Arab backers.

But, according to Mr Powell’s memo, which has been seen by the Mail on Sunday, Britain’s support for military action was already assured.