The bloody wounds UK has inflicted around the world through its all too often vile foreign policy are still raw. This can not only be said of colonial-era foreign policy, but also of Britain’s contemporary foreign policy.
British troops have remained committed to the principles of colonial occupation. It was after the turn of the millennium, not so long ago, when they last committed war crimes, and they have been continuing to commit war crimes with impunity during military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Various British media outlets reported on this in 2004, accusing British soldiers of murder, torture, sexual abuse and other crimes.
British troops have a long history of getting involved in military conflicts being waged by the United States. Their operations are sometimes limited to airstrikes and the military operations conducted by small groups of special forces, while others involve imposing occupying contingents on the territory of certain countries. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the largest conflicts where the United States and UK heavily deployed their ground forces.
The UK invaded Iraq as an ally of the United States to take part in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which began in March 2003. The evidence and photographs of war crimes committed by soldiers from the United Kingdom published in 2004 by the British media shocked the Arab world and the British public. British Army General Sir Mike Jackson, who headed the British Army as Chief of the General Staff (CGS) at the time, and Adam Ingram who was serving as the Armed Forces Minister at the Ministry of Defense even came out with an official announcement that they were launching an investigation, but its results were never made public. Observers watching the United Kingdom at the time noted: “The liberating army transformed into an occupying army within a few hours.”
In 2006, the International Criminal Court (ICC) concluded there was a reasonable basis to believe that crimes had been committed by British troops, however under pressure from London, the Court decided not prosecute as there were allegedly “fewer than 20 allegations”.
In 2008, a British court martial sentenced only one soldier to a year in prison, while the public inquiry acquitted six British soldiers of the murder of Iraqi citizen Baha Mousa,