Looking Back — Part 3, The Invasion
The invasion of Iraq really began in 2002 when an invasion team of CIA agents infiltrated the country to prepare for traditional troops. The purpose of these operatives was to persuade various military groups within Iraq to surrender and not resist the American troops. One important skirmish was against Ansar al-Islam, which led to finding chemical weapons in Sargat.
The real invasion began on March 20, 2003. Other countries besides the U.S. helped with the invasion and included 248,000 soldiers from the U.S., 45,000 soldiers from Britain, 2,000 soldiers from Australia, and 194 special forces soldiers from Poland, as well as about 70,000 soldiers from Iraqi Kurdish militia troops.
The objectives of the war were as follows:
• End Hussein’s regime
• Destroy an weapons of mass destruction found
• Eliminate Islamist militants
• Gather intelligence about any militant networks
• Distribute aid
• Secure the infrastructure for Iraq’s petroleum
• Create a democratic government that uses representatives
One of the first early successes of the war was on April 9 when the city of Baghdad (Iraq’s capital) fell and a statue of Hussein was torn down. Finally, after 24 years of ruling, Hussein’s empire was ended. Many citizens were grateful the end of this tyranny, but without a firm leader to take over and lead the country, there were riots and looting and increased crime.
After this initial victory, President Bush declared in a speech in San Diego that the war was essentially won. Hussein was still at large and there were pockets of resistance, but overall, he believed the war to be won.
Then religious radicals and other Iraqi citizens joined in the resistance. They were angered because of the invasion and having U.S. troops on their land. Most of the resistance came in the form of guerrilla tactics — suicide bombings, snipers, IEDs, car bombs, missiles, RPGs, and more.
During this time, a post-invasion Iraq coalition was formed in an effort to establish a new form of government that used democratic ideals. The United Nations helped in establishing this government as well.
More to come . . .
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