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Iraq War

Casualties | Timelines | 2008 Election Coverage | Obama's Plan | News Center

The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, commonly known as The Iraq War or Operation Iraqi Freedom, began March 19, 2003. Former President George W. Bush revealed the objectives of the invasion in this radio address he delivered: "Our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people."

In February 2009, President Barack Obama announced a 16-month plan for withdrawal in Iraq. On June 30, 2009, U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq's towns and cities, formally handing over security duties to new Iraqi forces. Iraq declared the move a public holiday, "National Sovereignty Day." In August 2010, President Obama announced the end of the combat mission in Iraq in an address to the nation from the Oval Office.

On Dec. 15, 2011, after nearly nine years in Iraq, the U.S. military officially declared the end of its mission there. The war cost almost 4,500 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.


  • Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
    Updated daily, this site is incredibly comprehensive and organized. First divided into the categories "deaths," "missing or captured" and "wounded," it then goes into separate months, countries, military forces and more. The site also features a newswire. And that's just the homepage. Go to the tabs at the top to look at more specialized statistics, ranging from ethnicity to gender to journalist deaths.

  • offers monthly summaries of that month's casualties. Included in the charts are the names of the dead, age, date of death, unit and cause of death.

  • Washington Post
    The Washington Post's "Faces of the Fallen" acts as a tribute to the service members who have died in the invasion and war thus far. Click on a face to view the person's hometown, age, unit, details about the incident and related links. You can view by age, year of death, home state and military branch. The site also includes audio tributes from the Washington Metro area.

  • Iraq Body Count
    Iraq Body Count provides statistics and analysis of civilian deaths during and since the 2003 invasion. According to the site, its mission is to "maintain and update the world's largest public database of non-combatants killed by military or paramilitary action."

  • International News Safety Institute
    The International News Safety Insitute (INSI) keeps track of journalist deaths during the Iraq War. For each casualty, a brief tribute with the details of the death is written up.


  • NYT: Iraq 5 Years In
    For the five-year anniversary in 2008, the New York Times presented this thorough timeline of key events leading up to and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It provides photos, transcriptions, reports and audio analysis.

  • Reuters: Bearing Witness - Five Years of the Iraq War
    This intensive piece includes the testimonials of the 100-person Reuters team that covered the Iraq War. Check out the video profiles of three journalists reporting in Iraq, a photo-heavy timeline of events, and interactive maps and charts.

  • 6 Years in Iraq: A Timeline in Images features a gallery of 20 powerful photographs representing significant events during the invasion and war over the past six years.

  • CBS: The Fall of Saddam
    CBS News offers an in-depth look at the demise of Saddam Hussein's reign in Iraq. Starting in February 2002 with the U.S. and Britain bombing Northeast Iraq in response to an anti-aircraft fire, the timeline follows the months preceding Hussein's capture, as well as the hour-by-hour updates of the capture itself. To read the play-by-play of Hussein's trials, go here.

  • Iraq: A chronology of key events
    This comprehensive timeline from the BBC outlines key events taking place in Iraq since 1920, when the country was placed under British mandate.

 2008 Election Coverage

  • Obama's Campaign Issues: Iraq
    Find out what Obama had to say about his ideas for Iraq on his campaign site. You can see who thinks what in the side-by-side comparison between Obama and McCain, his PDF plan for Homeland Security and his plan for Iraq, as well as his record on the issue.

  • Obama's OpEd piece in NYT
    In July 2008, Obama wrote an OpEd piece for the New York Times detailing his plans for dealing with Iraq.

  • CNN Election Coverage Issue
    CNN's election coverage features what the presidential and vice presidential candidates think about the conflict in Iraq and how they would plan to handle it. The issue is separated into categories based on their ideas on withdrawal, the surge and the Status of Forces Agreement. It also includes both Obama and McCain's Senate votes on the matter from 2005 to 2008.

  • NYT Election Coverage Issue
    In the New York Times' feature on the issue, read excerpts from speeches and debates that give insight on how the presidential candidates see the Iraq War.

 Obama's Plan

  • "Responsibly Ending the War in Iraq" Transcription
    On Friday, February 27, 2009, Obama declared his plan for withdrawal from Iraq in 2010. Read the transcription of his speech on the White House Briefing Room site.

  • CNN: Obama's Withdrawal Speech Video
    Watch Obama's speech delivered on Feb 27, 2009 at Camp Lejeune with his plan for withdrawal from Iraq.

  • White House Issues: Defense
    Read about the Obama Administration's official thoughts and goals for the issue of defense in America and with specific interest in the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Washington Post: "Topic A"
    In the Washington Post's "Topic A" column that gives "first impressions on a hot topic," the Post asked foreign experts what they thought after Obama revealed his withdrawal plan.

  • CNN: Party Impressions
    Read the initial impressions of prominent Democrats and Republicans on Obama's plan.

 News Centers

To read more news about Iraq and learn about the country, visit this resource on HeadlineSpot.


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