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Flag of Iraq
  1. Iraq Main Page
  2. Iraq Gains Independence
  3. Rise of the Baath Party
  4. Saddam Hussein's Ascendancy Brings Series of Wars
  5. The UN Steps In With Sanctions and Weapons Inspections
  6. The U.S. Launches War in Iraq
  7. With No Evidence of Weapons in Iraq, Bush Calls Iraq the Focal Point of War on Terror
  8. War Does Little to Improve Infrastructure or Security in Iraq
  9. Insurgency Gathers Steam
  10. Iraqi Leadership Struggles in Effort to Form a Government
  11. U.S. Strategy Under Fire
  12. President Bush Hopes Surge of U.S. Troops Will Change Course of War
  13. Iraqi Parliament Gets Down to Business
  14. Iraqi Government Shows Signs of Stability
  15. U.S. Role Diminishes in Iraq
  16. Political Veterans Fare Well in Parliamentary Elections
  17. War in Iraq Is Officially Over
  18. Political Unrest and Violence Continue
With No Evidence of Weapons in Iraq, Bush Calls Iraq the Focal Point of War on Terror

Months of searching for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction yielded no hard evidence, and both administrations and their intelligence agencies came under fire. There were also mounting allegations that the existence of these weapons was exaggerated or distorted as a pretext to justify the war. In fall 2003, President Bush recast the rationale for war, no longer citing the danger of weapons of mass destruction, but instead describing Iraq as “the central front” in the war against terrorism. A free and democratic Iraq, he contended, would serve as a model for the rest of the Middle East.

Continued instability in 2003 kept 140,000 American troops (at a cost of $4 billion a month), as well as 11,000 British and 10,000 coalition troops in Iraq. The U.S. launched several tough military campaigns to subdue Iraqi resistance, which also had the effect of further alienating the populace. The rising violence prompted the Bush administration to reverse its Iraq policy in Nov. 2003; the transfer of power to an interim government would take place in July 2004, much earlier than originally planned.

After eight months of searching, the U.S. military captured Saddam Hussein on Dec. 13. The deposed leader was found hiding in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit and surrendered without a fight. Found guilty of crimes against humanity for the execution of 148 Shiite men and boys from the town of Dujai, Saddam Hussein was hung in Dc. 2006. He was executed before being tried for innumerable other crimes associated with his rule.

In Jan. 2004, the CIA's chief weapons inspector, David Kay, stated that U.S. intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction “was almost all wrong.” When the final report on the existence of these weapons in Iraq was issued in Oct. 2004, Kay's successor, Charles Duelfer, confirmed that there was no evidence of an Iraqi weapons production program.

Next: War Does Little to Improve Infrastructure or Security in Iraq
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