Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the [British] General Staff, told the Daily Mail that the military campaign fought in 2003 had “effectively kicked the door in”.
He also said that initial planning for the post-war period had been poor.
There are currently more than 7,000 British soldiers in Iraq, based largely in Basra in the south of the country.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said Britain had “a clear strategy” and worked with international partners “in support of the democratically elected government of Iraq, under a clear UN mandate.”
BBC political editor Nick Robinson described Sir Richard’s remarks as “quite extraordinary”.
He said the new head of British army was “effectively saying we are making the situation worse in Iraq and worse for ourselves around the world by being in Iraq”.
[Hat tip: Mark Blyth]