The Iraq War
Iraq War also called the Second Gulf War, was a military operation which began on March 20, 2003,with the invasion of Iraq by a multinational force led by troops from the United States and the United Kingdom. It ended on August 19, 2010 with app 50,000 U.S. troops remaining as training troops.
Prior to the war, the govt. of the United States and the United Kingdom declared that Iraq’s claimed charge of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a threat to their security and that of their regional allies. In 2002, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1441 which called for Iraq to completely work side by side with UN weapon scrutinizers to verify that Iraq was not in control of WMD and cruise missiles. The United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) got no evidence of WMD, but still was not able to verify the accuracy of Iraq’s weapon declarations.
After investigation following the invasion, the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group dissolved that Iraq had ended its nuclear, chemical, and biological programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they planned to resume production if the Iraq sanctions were lifted. Some US officials also accused Iraqi President Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda,but no evidence of a meaningful connection was ever found. Other proclaimed reasons for the invasion included Iraq’s financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers,Iraqi government human rights abuses, and an effort to spread democracy to the country.
The invasion of Iraq led to an occupation and the ultimate capture of President Hussein, who was later tried in an Iraqi court of law and was roped by the new Iraqi government. Violence against caucus forces and among various sectarian groups soon led to the Iraqi insurgency, discord between many Sunni and Shia Iraqi groups, and the emergence of a new faction of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. In October 2006, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Iraqi government estimated that more than 365,000 Iraqis had been displaced since the 2006 bombing of the al-Askari Mosque, bringing the total number of Iraqi refugees to more than 1.6 million.By 2008, the UNHCR raised the estimate of refugees to a total of about 4.7 million. The number of refugees estimated abroad was 2 million and the number of internally dislocated people was 2.7 million. In 2007, Iraq’s anti-corruption board reported that 35% of Iraqi children, or about five million children, were orphans.The Red Cross stated in March 2008 that Iraq’s unselfish condition remained among the most critical in the world, with millions of Iraqis forced to rely on insufficient and poor-quality water sources.
In June 2008, U.S. Department of Defense officials state security and economic indicators began to show signs of improvement in what they waved down as significant and delicate gains. Iraq was fifth on the 2008 Failed States Index, and sixth on the 2009 list. As public opinion favoring troop took back increased and as Iraqi forces began to take responsibility for security, member nations of the Coalition withdrew their forces.In late 2008, the U.S. and Iraqi govt. agreed a Status of Forces Agreement effective through January 1, 2012. The Iraqi Parliament also ratified a Strategic Framework Agreement with the U.S., aimed at ensuring cooperation in constitutional rights, threat deterrence, education, energy development, and other areas.
In February 2009, new U.S. President Barack Obama declared an 18-month removal window for combat forces, with app 50,000 troops still staying in the country “to advise and train Iraqi security forces”. General Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, said that all U.S. troops will be out of the country by the end of 2011, while UK forces ended combat working on April 30, 2009. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that he supports the precipitate extract out of US forces. On August 2, 2010, President Obama made it sure that all US military operations in Iraq will end by August 31. Starting September 1, 2010 the American running name for its paricipation in Iraq changed from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn.”