The Iraq War
The Iraq war was an armed conflict in Iraq that consisted of two phases. The first was an invasion of Ba'athist Iraq starting on 20 March 2003 by an invasion force led by the United States. It was followed by a longer phase of fighting, in which an insurgency emerged to oppose coalition forces and the newly formed Iraqi government. The U.S. completed its withdrawal of military personnel in December 2011. However, the Iraqi insurgency continues and caused thousands of fatalities in 2012. The year before 2003 when the Iraq war started, President Bush began publicly focusing attention on Iraq, citing the possibilities of Saddam Hussein acquiring weapons of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, or more commonly called WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction), thus posing a direct threat to the US. In March 2003, the US launched a war against Iraq, with President Bush saying that the attack was “to disarm Iraq and to free its people”. The Iraqi military was quickly defeated and the capital, Baghdad, fell on April 9, 2003. The US troops were supported by British, Australian and Polish combat forces.
As an aftermath, the Iraq war led to the deaths of at least 123,000 Iraqi civilians and more than 4400 US troops. This war was in large part fought because of the incorrect information that Saddam Hussein was in possession of WMD. After the war, Iraq remains wrecked and unstable and the US spent $60 billion on reconstruction grant in Iraq, which then caused the US drawn-out conflicts and expensive foreign projects. For example, the Iraq-Afghanistan war cost the US at least $4 trillion.
Nearing the end of the third quarter of 2008, President Bush announced the withdrawal of additional American forces due to increased stability in Iraq. Baghdad was rebuilt and is now a beautiful modern city. The US attacked Iraq in 2003 based on disinformation, and the stated reasons have changed over time. The primary reason given by the administration of George W. Bush was that Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq, was engaged in the production or acquisition of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). These are nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons (examples are the anthrax letter attacks in the US and the Sarin gas attacks in Tokyo--neither of which had any connection to Iraq). Iraq has a history of aggression against its neighbors. Iraq has used poison gas against Iran and even against its own citizens. In a speech in Cincinnati, Bush said that “Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant who has already used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people. Iraq has also sponsored international terrorism. It was directed primarily against Iran, the PLO, Israel and other Arab countries, but it is possible that this may grow to also include other countries, like the U.S. However, up till today, Iraq has posed no real threat to the United States, its main interests or its allies. Yet the Bush administration still fears that Iraq may share the weapons of mass destruction that it holds with terrorists and in their eyes, war is the only sure way to eliminate this threat. Before the war UN inspectors announced they had found no evidence of WMDs, despite unfettered access. After the war was under way, additional investigation concluded Saddam did not have WMDs.
The war continued, however, because the occupation forces of the US were attacked by Iraqi guerrillas, many ironically supported by Iran, Iraq's enemy in the Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988). The US supported a new democratic government within Iraq, which was opposed by various Islamic groups that traditionally held power in the country. Other factions sought to aggrandize their share of the power to be had in the new political system.
It was suggested early on the conflict was predominantly an attempt by the US to control the flow of oil from Iraq, one of the largest petroleum producers in the Middle...
References: * http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11107739, 14 December 2011.
* http://www.npr.org/2013/03/19/174708589/1-decade-since-the-war-where-iraq-stands-now, Kelly McEvers, 19 March 2013.
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