March 19th 2003, US forces in coalition with the United Kingdom and others initiate war on Iraq in a conquest to overthrow the ruthless dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. During this time President George W. Bush famously announced, “At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.”
The Bush administration had built practically one hundred per cent of their case for war on the premise that Saddam Hussein was keeping “weapons of mass destruction” and was ready to use them. But soon after, it became imminent that the origins of these claims were baseless.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Soon after the initial invasion of Baghdad, dubbed operation Iraqi freedom by western politicians, coalition forces were able to swiftly topple Hussein’s regime and capture Iraq’s major cities in the span of just 3 weeks whilst sustaining only minor casualties. At this stage, all seemed well after President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1st 2003.
But Despite this victory, instead of immediately pulling US troops out of Iraq, Bush attempted something that up until then was anathema to Republicans- nation building. Hence the word freedomin its name. Most Americans at this time recognised that the US had stabilized the middle east and would then ensure a peaceful transition to a new democratically elected government and free society.
But this would end in unequivocal failure after a growing insurgency prolonged 8 years of intense guerrilla warfare, which according to the BBC resulted in 4487 US personnel killed, over 100,000 Iraqui civilian deaths and US financial costs projected anywhere between $802 billion all the way to possibly as high as $3 trillion when additional impacts on the US budget and economy are considered.
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