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The Iraq War began officially on March 20, 2003, when armed forces primarily from the United States and the United Kingdom started their ground invasion. This entry examines the justification and rationale for the Iraq War, the makeup of the invasion force, and casualties. The entry also discusses, in the aftermath of the war, Saddam Hussein’s trial and execution, the increase in insurgent violence and the coalition response, and the use of private military contractors.

Justification for War

Officials from the George W. Bush administration declared on numerous occasions that war with Iraq was necessary to prevent the use of chemical or biological weapons allegedly in possession by the Hussein regime and to prevent the Iraqi government from developing nuclear weapons. Rhetoric by officials leading up ...

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