The Iraq War is by far one of the most devastating conflicts in modern history. It cost lives and livelihoods, and no one is too sure quite what the skirmish proved in the long run. It ultimately removed the dictator Saddam Hussein from power, but at the expense of many innocent lives. Let’s break down a few important facts about the Iraq War.
1. How it all began
When people refer to “The Iraq War,” they typically mean the conflict that began on March 20th, 2003. It’s otherwise known as the Second Gulf War. It was US President George W Bush who announced that the US military would be taking action in the country. The goal was initially to remove Saddam Hussein via air strikes, though it was one facet of Bush’s “War on Terror” following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on American soil.
2. It was a bloodthirsty conflict.
No one knows exactly how many lives were lost during the Iraq War; however, it is believed that at least 109,000 people died as a result of military action. That being said, hundreds of thousands of people were affected by the war and potentially lost their lives in the years following purely due to the hardships that followed.
3. What was the actual result of the war?
The US and the Iraq War have been heavily criticized for the fact that they didn’t actually achieve much! The overriding positive of the conflict was the removal of Saddam Hussein, but the drastic effects it had on the people of Iraq and its infrastructure have been widely condemned.
4. How much did the Iraq War cost?
In terms of finances, it is believed that the Iraq War is still costing the world money to this day! Although the exact cost of the war is not widely known, it is estimated that we’re working off at least a cool $3 trillion.
5. Hussein was captured the same year the war started.
Saddam Hussein was indeed eventually captured. He was found hiding in a deep hole near Tikrit. He was captured in December 2003, put on trial, and eventually executed for crimes against humanity three years later.
6. Weapons of mass distraction?
President Bush is thought to have received information multiple times that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That is supposedly one of the main reasons the US chose to take the fight there. However, no weapons of mass destruction were ever actually found or proven to have been in the country – despite then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair having reportedly acted on the same intelligence.
7. What happened to Iraq?
Following the end of the war, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed the country for themselves. The terrorist group then went on to claim responsibility for multiple terrorist attacks across the world.
8. The US left Iraq nearly a decade after the war started.
Post-Bush US President Barack Obama had US forces removed from Iraq by 2011. It took two years to remove the US forces from the country from start to finish.
9. Some soldiers are still suffering.
It is estimated that about 20% of the US soldiers who served during the Iraq War came back either wounded with brain or spinal injuries. There is also about one in eight of the soldiers from the war who returned with PTSD.
10. The Halliburton controversy overshadowed the conflict’s aftermath.
One of the biggest controversies of the Iraq War surrounds that of Dick Cheney and Halliburton. Cheney, the US Vice President at the time of the conflict, was leading a company known as Halliburton at the same time. The company was given a $7 billion contract linked to the war, which eventually led to them making $39.5 billion.
FAQs about the Iraq War
Who “won” the Iraq War of 2003?
Although the US technically succeeded in taking down Saddam Hussein, it would be wrong to state that they “won.” The war cost the US and Iraq trillions in money, hundreds of thousands of lives, and the mistrust of both governments.
When did the Iraq War start and end?
The Iraq War officially started on March 20th, 2003. It officially ended on December 15th, 2011.
Who stopped the Iraq War?
The Iraq War technically ceased back in 2008 when President Bush finally agreed to withdraw the US troops from Iraq. However, the troops were only completely removed under President Barack Obama, in 2011.
Do you know any fun facts about the Iraq War? Share them in the comments below!