Iraq War, 2003-2011
The Iraq War can also be referred to as the Occupation of Iraq, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, or the Second Gulf War. In 2002, President George W. Bush accused Iraq President Saddam Hussein of harboring terrorists from al-Qaeda and acquiring weapons of mass destruction. President Bush used these accusations to justify a war with Iraq.
The UN would not support the U.S. invasion of Iraq. On March 16, 2003, the United States warned UN weapons inspectors to leave Iraq. On March 20, 2003, the United States launched a war against Iraq (250,000 United States troops were supported by approximately 45,000 British, 2,000 Australian and 200 Polish combat forces).
The coalition forces occupied Iraq and captured Hussein, who the Iraqi Interim Government executed on December 30, 2006. But, the execution of Hussein, the occupation of Iraq by coalition forces, the strife among Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, and Kurds, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army, and the banishing of the Ba’ath Party from public and government life led to more insurgency in Iraq. The ignited Sunni-Shiite conflict also allowed for the al-Qaeda faction to assume power amidst insurrection.
In 2005, the U.S. held elections to help implement Shiites into power. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani won the election and took control of the government. But, Sunni-Shiite competition for control over neighborhoods continued until 2007. Violence decreased in 2007 for four reasons. First, Sunni militias turned to fighting against opposing Sunni groups rather than fighting coalition and Shiite forces. Second, the United States gave money to Sunni allies, called The Awakening, or Sons of Iraq. Next, General Petraeus increased troops by 20,000, called The Surge, to supply security to Baghdad and the Anbar Province. Last, in 2008, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for his Mahdi army to ceasefire. These four reasons decreased violence inside Iraq’s borders and allowed for newly elected President Obama to withdraw troops.
In February of 2009, President Obama announced his eighteen-month plan for the withdrawal of combat forces, with approximately 50,000 troops remaining to advise and train Iraqi security forces. In September, 2010, the war became known as Operation New Dawn to reflect the U.S.’s new role as intelligence and surveillance provider. On December 15, 2011 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta declared the War in Iraq over and the removal of all troops and trainers.
Pritzker Military Presents
- My War: Killing Time in Iraq by Colby Buzzell (2005)
- The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq by Patrick Cockburn (2007)
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment by Thomas Donnelly (2004)
- The burn pits: the poisoning of America's soldiers by Joseph Hickman (2016)
- Black hearts: one platoon's plunge into madness in the triangle of death and the American struggle in Iraq by Jim Frederick (2010)
- Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Gordon and Trainor (2006)
- The Iraq War: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003-2011 by Anthony Tucker-Jones (2014)
- Why Are We At War? by Norman Mailer (2003)
- The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq by Helen Benedict (2010)
- Fallujah redux: the Anbar Awakening and the struggle with al-Qaeda by Daniel R. Green (2014)
- Baghdad ER (2006)
- ISIS: the state of terror by Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger (2015)
- The Hurt Locker (2010)
- Fiasco: the American military adventure in Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks (2006)
- Redeployment by Phil Klay (2014)
- We were one: the gripping story of the Marines who captured Fallujah by Patrick O'Donnell (2006)
- The white donkey: terminal lance by Maximilian Uriarte (2016)
Museum & Archives
Programs & Videos
- Nathaniel Fick: One Bullet Away
- Richard S. Lowry: New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah
- David Kilcullen: The Accidental Guerrilla
- Matt Gallagher: Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little Wa
- Linda Robinson: Tell Me How This Ends
- David Finkel: The Good Soldiers
- Citizen Soldier: The Embedded Journalist and Military HIstory
- Oral History: Kent Bubel
- Robert Colella: Battle for Baqubah
- Dr. Williamson Murray: The Iraq War: A Military History
- Thomas Ricks: Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq