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::Iraq War

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Title::iraqi    First::small    United::forces    October::january    World::states    Military::december

{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Pp-move-indef|main}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} {{#invoke:Infobox military conflict|main}} {{#invoke:Navbox|navbox}} The Iraq War<ref group="nb">The conflict is also known as the War in Iraq, the Occupation of Iraq, the Second Gulf War, Gulf War II, and Gulf War 2. The period of the war lasting from 2003 to 2010 was referred to as Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States military.</ref> was a protracted armed conflict that began with the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the United States. The invasion regime toppled the government of Saddam Hussein. However, the conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government.<ref name=Britannica>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first 3–4 years of conflict. The United States officially withdrew from the country in 2011 but became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition; the insurgency and many dimensions of the civil armed conflict continue.

Following an ultimatum for Hussein to leave the country, the invasion began on 20 March 2003, with the U.S., joined by the United Kingdom and several coalition allies, launching a "shock and awe" bombing campaign. Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed as U.S. forces swept through the country. The invasion led to the collapse of the Ba'athist government; Saddam was captured in December 2003 and executed by a military court three years later. However, the power vacuum following Saddam's demise and the mismanagement of the occupation led to widespread sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis as well as a lengthy insurgency against U.S. and coalition forces. The United States responded with a troop surge in 2007, identified as the COIN strategy, to attempt to reduce the violence. The U.S. began withdrawing its troops in the winter of 2007–08. The winding down of U.S. involvement in Iraq accelerated under President Barack Obama. The U.S. formally withdrew all combat troops from Iraq by December 2011.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref>

The Bush Administration based its rationale for war principally on the assertion that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and that Saddam's government posed an immediate threat to the United States and its coalition allies.<ref>Center for American Progress (29 January 2004) "In Their Own Words: Iraq's 'Imminent' Threat" americanprogress.org</ref><ref name=nelson>Senator Bill Nelson (28 January 2004) "New Information on Iraq's Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction", Congressional Record</ref> Select U.S. officials accused Saddam of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref> while others cited the desire to end a repressive dictatorship and bring democracy to the people of Iraq.<ref>"President Discusses the Future of Iraq" The White House, 26 February 2003</ref><ref>"Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq?" 60 Minutes</ref> After the invasion, no substantial evidence was found to verify the initial claims about WMDs. Many have subsequently come to believe that the real reason for the war was U.S. oil interests. The rationale and misrepresentation of pre-war intelligence faced heavy criticism within the U.S. and internationally.

As a result of the war, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and remained in office until 2014. The Maliki government enacted policies that were widely seen as having the effect of alienating the country's Sunni minority and worsening sectarian tensions. In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched a military offensive in Northern Iraq and declared a worldwide Islamic caliphate, eliciting another military response from the United States and its allies.

Throughout its course, the Iraq War cost trillions of dollars to the world economy, caused hundreds of thousands of civilian and military casualties (see estimates below), and led to further regional conflicts that are still ongoing.


Iraq War sections
Intro  Background  The invasion  Post-invasion phase  Aftermath \u2013 post U.S. withdrawal  Casualty estimates  Criticism and cost  Humanitarian crises  Human rights abuses  Public opinion on the war  Relation to the Global War on Terrorism  Foreign involvement  See also  Footnotes  References  Further reading  External links  

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