Conflict 21 emblem

current national threat level - click to go to Dept of Homeland Security

Operation Iraqi Freedom


See our Terrorism page
See Iraq, the proliferant and also International Rivals - Saddam
See Lessons Learned about Iraq and the Gulf War

War to liberate Iraq

President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended, 01 May 2003

UN Security Council Resolution 1483 Lifts Sanctions on Iraq, 22 May 03

  • Defend America,
    including Operation Liberty Shield,
    civic affairs in Iraq,
    leaflets over Iraq, etc.


War Aims and Objectives

  • Iraq - White House documents

  • 21 Mar 03 DoD briefing - excerpt of SecDef comments below

      General Myers will provide some details on the progress of our operation, but first let me comment on the aims and objectives we have for the days ahead.

      Our goal is to defend the American people, and to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people.

      Coalition military operations are focused on achieving several specific objectives:

        to end the regime of Saddam Hussein by striking with force on a scope and scale that makes clear to Iraqis that he and his regime are finished.

        Next, to identify, isolate and eventually eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, production capabilities, and distribution networks.

        Third, to search for, capture, drive out terrorists who have found safe harbor in Iraq.

        Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to terrorist networks in Iraq and beyond.

        Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction activity.

        Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian relief, food and medicine to the displaced and to the many needy Iraqi citizens.

        Seventh, to secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people, and which they will need to develop their country after decades of neglect by the Iraqi regime.

        And last, to help the Iraqi people create the conditions for a rapid transition to a representative self-government that is not a threat to its neighbors and is committed to ensuring the territorial integrity of that country.


Humanitarian Efforts and Needs


Future of Iraq - After Saddam


News and Updates


Media Miscues

  • On MSNBC on 26 Mar 03, Ashleigh Banfield, reporting on the US soldier accused of tossing hand grenades into US tents, stated that in the US military justice system "you are guilty until proven innocent."

      However, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice states

        (c) Before a vote is taken on the findings, the military judge or the president of a court-martial without a military judge shall, in the presence of the accused and counsel, instruct the members of the court as to the elements of the offense and charge them -
          (1) that the accused must be presumed to be innocent until his guilt is established by legal and competent evidence beyond reasonable doubt;
          (2) that in the case being considered, if there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, the doubt must be resolved in favor of the accused and he must be acquitted;
          (3) that, if there is a reasonable doubt as to the degree of guilt, the finding must be in a lower degree as to which there is no reasonable doubt; and
          (4) that the burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt is upon the United States.


Moon Phases and Iraq Weather


Saddam - U.S. Confrontation


Iraq and the United Nations & the IAEA


Key UN Security Council resolutions

  • Chronology by Iraq violations of UN resolutions, posted by the State Department

  • Chronology by Iraq Nuclear Verification Office (INVO), IAEA -- includes links to UN Security Council resolutions and summaries of resolutions and reports from and about inspections

  • Security Council Resolution 1441, 8 Nov 2002, passed 15-0

      "... resolution 678 (1990) authorized Member States to use all necessary means to uphold and implement its resolution 660 (1990) of 2 August 1990 and all relevant resolutions subsequent to resolution 660 ..."

      "... resolution 687 (1991) imposed obligations on Iraq as a necessary step for achievement of its stated objective of restoring international peace and security in the area, ... "

      "... Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosure, as required by resolution 687 (1991), of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater than one hundred and fifty kilometres, and of all holdings of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well as all other nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to nuclear-weapons-usable material, ... "

      "... the Government of Iraq has failed to comply with its commitments pursuant to resolution 687 (1991) with regard to terrorism, pursuant to resolution 688 (1991) to end repression of its civilian population and to provide access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in Iraq, ... "

      "... in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that a ceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of that resolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein, ... "

      "... Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 ... "

  • Security Council Resolution 1205, 5 November 1998

      demands Iraq rescind its decision to not cooperate

  • Security Council Resolution 1194, 9 September 1998

      demands Iraq rescind its decision to not cooperate

  • Security Council Resolution 1134, 23 October 1997

      "demands ... the Government of Iraq allow the Special Commission inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access"

  • Security Council Resolution 1115, 21 June 1997

      "demands ... the Government of Iraq allow the Special Commission inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access"

  • Security Council Resolution 1060, 12 June 1996

      "demands ... the Government of Iraq allow the Special Commission inspection teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access"

  • Security Council Resolution 707, 15 August 1991

      "Condemns Iraq's serious violation of a number of its obligations under section C of resolution 687 (1991) and of its undertakings to cooperate with the Special Commission and the IAEA, which constitutes a material breach of the relevant provisions of resolution 687 which established a cease-fire and provided the conditions essential to the restoration of peace and security in the region"

  • Security Council Resolution 688, 5 April 1991

      "Condemns the repression of the Iraqi civilian population in many parts of Iraq, including most recently in Kurdish populated areas, the consequences of which threaten international peace and security in the region"

      "Demands that Iraq, as a contribution to remove the threat to international peace and security in the region, immediately end this repression and express the hope in the same context that an open dialogue will take place to ensure that the human and political rights of all Iraqi citizens are respected"

      "Insists that Iraq allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq and to make available all necessary facilities for their operations"

  • Security Council Resolution 687, 3 April 1991

      establishes conditions for a formal cease-fire

  • Security Council Resolution 678, 29 November 1990

      "Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area"

  • Security Council Resolution 660, 2 August 1990

      condemns Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and calls for Iraq to withdraw

  • Security Council Resolution 620, 26 August 1988

      "Deeply dismayed by the missions' conclusions that there had been continued use of chemical weapons in the conflict between Iran and Iraq and that such use against Iranians had become more intense and frequent"

      "Condemns resolutely the use of chemical weapons in the conflict between Iran and Iraq, in violation of obligations under the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925, and in defiance of its resolution 612 (1988)"


Chronologies and Timelines of Iraq situation


Iraq and WMD


Iraq and Terrorism

  • Congressional Research Service (CRS)

  • 1998 FBI press release about indictment of BIN LADEN and MUHAMMAD ATEF for embassy bombings (local copy)
    • Count One, Paragraph 4 of the Bin Laden indictment
      • Al Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezballah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United. States. In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.

  • Security Council Resolution 687, 3 April 1991

      establishes conditions for a formal cease-fire

      "Recalling the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, opened for signature at New York on 18 December 1979, which categorizes all acts of taking hostages as manifestations of international terrorism,"

      "Deploring threats made by Iraq during the recent conflict to make use of terrorism against targets outside Iraq and the taking of hostages by Iraq,"

      "Requires Iraq to inform the Security Council that it will not commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any organization directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory and to condemn unequivocally and renounce all acts, methods and practices of terrorism"


Iraqi War Crimes

  • Laws of War
  • Hague Convention (IV) Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land
  • Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
  • Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War

  • See also Saddam Oppressing His People below
  • See also War Crimes links on the Air War College Military Law page
    -- includes U.N. definitions of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes

  • INDICT -- includes lists of war crimes by key Iraqi officials
    • "INDICT was established in late 1997 to campaign for the creation of an ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal - similar to those established for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda - to try leading members of the Iraqi regime on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including genocide and torture. The campaign was launched in the House of Commons and in the US Senate and remained dependent on voluntary donations and assistance until it was awarded a financial grant through the Iraq Liberation Act, passed by the US Congress in December 1998, which allocated funds to various Iraqi opposition groups and specifically allocated money for war crimes issues."

  • Iraqis Seek Primary Role in Prosecuting Crimes Against Humanity, regarding trial of Saddam by Iraqi court, US State Dept report, Jan 03
    • "Based on its examination of eighteen tons of Iraqi government documents seized in 1991, Human Rights Watch has identified over 115 Iraqi officials who it says should face prosecution."

  • Human Shields
  • Article 51 of the 1977 amendment to the 1949 Geneva Conventions
    • The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.


Saddam Oppressing His People

  • Exclusive: ‘Terrified of Saddam Hussein’, 30 Mar 03, from Arab News

      When we finally made it to Safwan, Iraq, what we saw was utter chaos. Iraqi men, women and children were playing it up for the TV cameras, chanting: “With our blood, with our souls, we will die for you Saddam.”

      I took a young Iraqi man, 19, away from the cameras and asked him why they were all chanting that particular slogan, especially when humanitarian aid trucks marked with the insignia of the Kuwaiti Red Crescent Society, were distributing some much-needed food.

      His answer shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.

      He said: “There are people from Baath here reporting everything that goes on. There are cameras here recording our faces. If the Americans were to withdraw and everything were to return to the way it was before, we want to make sure that we survive the massacre that would follow as Baath go house to house killing anyone who voiced opposition to Saddam. In public, we always pledge our allegiance to Saddam, but in our hearts we feel something else.”

      Different versions of that very quote, but with a common theme, I would come to hear several times over the next three days I spent in Iraq.

      The people of Iraq are terrified of Saddam Hussein.

  • Exclusive: 'As Long as It Takes', 28 Mar 03, from Arab News

      Arab News asked several of the refugees waiting to enter Basra what they thought of regime change. Accompanying Arab News were several international TV crews. What the refugees said on and off camera were very different things.

      On camera, the general feeling among the crowd was sorrow at losing Saddam. Off camera, the citizens of Umm Qasr and Basra appeared genuinely exhilarated at the prospect of a brighter future, after Saddam had been removed.

  • "I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam," by Daniel Pepper - 23 Mar 2003, in telegraph.co.uk

      Of course I had read reports that Iraqis hated Saddam Hussein, but this was the real thing. Someone had explained it to me face to face. I told a few journalists who I knew. They said that this sort of thing often happened - spontaneous, emotional, and secretive outbursts imploring visitors to free them from Saddam's tyrannical Iraq.

  • Human Rights Watch reports on Iraq - many reports including the following
    • Iraq: Forcible Expulsion of Ethnic Minorities, March 14, 2003
      • "Iraq´s practice of expelling Kurds, Turkomans, and Assyrians in the oil-rich regions of Kirkuk and turning their property over to Arab families from the south continues"
      • "there is an urgent need for Iraq, or in the event of war the occupying powers, to establish a mechanism that will permit the orderly return of more than 120,000 persons forced out of their homes since 1991. Human Rights Watch said this was essential to head off ethnic violence should displaced families attempt to return to the area."
    • Bureaucracy of Repression: The Iraqi Government in Its Own Words, report by Human Rights Watch, after examining 18 tons of Iraqi documents


Iraqi Military Forces & Defense


CRS Reports


Other Reports & Resources




Maps & Satellite Imagery


Country Studies


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