Howard 'embarrassed' about joining 2003 Iraq war


Former Prime Minister John Howard has said he was 'embarrassed' that Australia joined the war in Iraq in 2003.

Former prime minister John Howard says he was 'embarrassed' that Australia joined the war in Iraq on intelligence that the country had weapons of mass destruction that later appeared to be inaccurate.

Speaking to Channel Seven, Mr Howard says the intelligence presented to him by United States authorities indicated that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which posed a threat to the West.

He says it was on those reports that he along with the National Security Committee of Cabinet sent Australian troops into Iraq.

"I was struck by the force of the language used in the American national intelligence assessment late in November 2002," he told Sunday Night.

"It brought together all the American intelligence and paragraph after paragraph, they said, we judge Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and even talked about potential nuclear capacity."

Mr Howard also spoke on the current terror levels, saying Australia still faced a real threat. 

"I don't think any Australian should assume we won't have a terrorist incident here," he said.

He also said a focus on integrating Muslim youths into the mainstream would help prevent them becoming radicalised.

"As many people know I'm not an overwhelming fan of the doctrine of multiculturalism."

"I believe in bringing people of different races, different religions, to this country but once you're here you've got to become part of the mainstream community."

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