Iraq• The Cradle of Civilization• The Fertile Crescent• The birthplace of writing, law and the wheel• Historically, known as Mesopotamia (Land between the rivers)
• At different periods in its history, Iraq was the center of the indigenous Akkadian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Abbasid empires.• It was also part of the Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Parthian, Sassanid, Roman, Rashidun, Umayyad, Mongol, Safavid, Afsharid, and Ottoman empires• It came under British control after WWI(1918)as a League of Nations mandate.
• A monarchy was established in 1921.• Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932• In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Republic of Iraq was created.• Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Baath Party from 1968 until 2003.• After an invasion led by American and British forces, the Baath Party was removed from power.• Iraq came under a military occupation by a multinational coalition(led by US).• Power was transferred to the Iraqi Interim Government in June 2004.
• A new constitution was then approved by vote and a new government of Iraq was elected.• Foreign troops remained in Iraq after the establishment of a new government due to an insurgency that developed shortly after the invasion• In August 2010, the U.S. became the last member of the coalition to cease combat operations in Iraq• In December 2011, the last U.S. troops left the country.
Iran-Iraq War-1980-1988• The war began when Iraq invaded Iran• What caused it?3. border disputes4. fears of Shia Muslim insurgency among Iraqs long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution- Saddam Hussein was Sunni Muslim5. Iraq wanted to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state-wanted Iran’s oil fields
Iran-Iraq War Cont.• Iraq did not fair too well• Iran was able to regain most lost territory by 1982• For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive and actually entered Iraq• The war finally ended with a United Nations ceasefire which was accepted by both sides• A million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers as well as civilians are believed to have died in the war• Nothing really changed as a result of the war• US supported Iraq in this war
Genocide against the Kurds • series of military and gas attacks against the Kurdish civilian population of rural Northern Iraq • conducted between 1986 and 1989 • Some reports cite Saddam Husseins army being responsible for 200,000 civilian deaths
Persian Gulf War• August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991• Codenamed Operation Desert Storm (17 January 17, 1991 – February 28,1991)• It was a war waged by a UN-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States• The war started when Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait• Goal for UN: Free Kuwait from Iraqi control
Why did Iraq Invade Kuwait?1. Iraq was bankrupt after the war with Iran, with most of its debt owed to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait• Iraq pressured both nations to forgive the debts, but they refused.2. Iraq also accused Kuwait producing too much oil and driving down it’s price, hurting the Iraqi economy.
3. Iraqi claimed that Kuwait was a territory of Iraq4. Iraq claimed that Kuwait was drilling for oil across the border into Iraqs oil fields
UN Reaction• UN condemned the invasion and demanded an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops• UN authorized a naval blockade to enforce the economic sanctions against Iraq• U.N. gave Iraq until January 15, 1991 to withdraw from Kuwait• After deadline, UN could use "all necessary means" to force Iraq out of Kuwait
Operation Desert Shield• US troops were sent to Saudi Arabia to prevent an Iraqi invasion
Aftermath• By March, 1991, 540,000 American troops began to move out of the Persian Gulf area• Saddam Hussein was allowed to remain in power• Coalition killed: 392• Iraq killed: 20,000-35,000
Consequences on Iraq• Economic sanctions remained• Weapons inspectors• No fly zone
Iraq War-2003-2011• Called Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States military• Conflict that occurred in Iraq from March 20, 2003 to December 18, 2011
Main Cause• The United States and the United Kingdom claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD)• This was a threat to our security• In 2002, the United Nations Security Council called for Iraq to completely cooperate with UN weapon inspectors to verify that Iraq was not in possession of WMD• The United Nations found no evidence of WMD but believed that Hussein was trying to get WMD from Africa• Due to the above intelligence, we invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003
• After the Iraqi invasion, it was concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD program in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion• The invasion of Iraq led to an occupation and the eventual capture of President Hussein• Hussein was later tried in an Iraqi court of law and executed by the new Iraqi government
Other Causes• Some accused Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting al-Qaeda but no evidence of a meaningful connection was ever• Iraqi government human rights abuses• Wanted to spread democracy to the country• Oil interests• President Bush wanted to “fix what his daddy messed up”
Issues in Iraq after Invasion• Violence against coalition forces• Civil war and sectarian violence• The emergence of of Al-Qaeda in Iraq• Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse-2004
President Bush’s Policies• Started the war in 2003• War was supported at first but no WMD’s found led to war becoming very unpopular• Abu Ghraib• Accused of not having an “exit strategy”• Helped establish a new democratic government in Iraq• “The surge” took place in 2007. It helped get the violence under control in Iraq.• Started troop reduction in 2008
President Obama’s Policies• Opposed to war at the outset as a Senator• After being elected President, Obama switched the focus to the war in Afghanistan• Pulled out all US combat troops in August 2010• Pulled all US troops out in December, 2011 thus ending the Iraq War
Iraq War Casualties• Iraqi Combatants: Total dead- 28,736-37,120• Coalition Forces: Total dead- 24,219 Total wounded: 117,961• US Dead: 4,487