"The United States has been attempting to change Iraq's regime since the 1991 Persian Gulf war, although achieving this goal was not declared policy until 1998. In November 1998, amid a crisis with Iraq over U.N. weapons of mass destruction (WMD) inspections, the Clinton Administration stated that the United States would seek to go beyond containment to promoting a change of regime. A regime change policy was endorsed by the Iraq Liberation Act (P.L. [Public Law] 105-338, October 31, 1998). Bush Administration officials have emphasized regime change as the cornerstone of U.S. policy toward Iraq. This paper discusses past and current U.S. efforts to oust Saddam Hussein and the current debate over the implementation of that policy."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31339
U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://www.fpc.state.gov/