Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategies, Approaches, Results, and Issues for Congress [February 22, 2008]   [open pdf - 636KB]

"Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was launched on March 20, 2003. The immediate goal, as stated by the Bush Administration, was to remove the regime, including destroying its ability to use weapons of mass destruction or to make them available to terrorists. The broad, longer-term objective included helping Iraqis build 'a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.' In October 2002, Congress had authorized the President to use force against Iraq, to 'defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq,' and to 'enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.' Over time, the focus of OIF has shifted from regime removal to the more open-ended mission of helping an emerging new Iraqi leadership improve security, establish a system of governance, and foster economic development. With that shift in focus, the character of the war has evolved from major combat operations to a multifaceted counter-insurgency and reconstruction effort. […] Some of these include the future U.S. military footprint in Iraq, Iraq as a U.S. national security concern, the future of the U.S. military force, and the distribution of roles and responsibilities among U.S. government agencies in complex contingencies. This report is designed to provide background and analysis of Operation Iraqi Freedom to support consideration of these short-term and long-term issues."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34387
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