Operation Iraqi Freedom: Strategies, Approaches, Results, and Issues for Congress [Updated October 28, 2008] [open pdf - 800KB]
"Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was launched on March 20, 2003, with the immediate stated goal of removing Saddam Hussein's regime and destroying its ability to use weapons of mass destruction or to make them available to terrorists. Over time, the focus of OIF shifted from regime removal to the more open-ended mission of helping the Government of Iraq (GoI) improve security, establish a system of governance, and foster economic development. Over time, an insurgency gained strength in Iraq and violence escalated. In January 2007, the Bush Administration announced a new strategy, the 'new way forward,' which included both a troop surge and new counter-insurgency approaches that emphasized population security and reconciliation. The last surge brigade redeployed from Iraq without replacement in July 2008. […] Longer-term Iraq strategy and policy considerations include clarifying long-term U.S. strategic objectives related to Iraq and shaping a more traditional future bilateral relationship with Iraq; defining U.S. policy toward Iranian intervention in Iraq; and assessing the implications of OIF 'lessons learned' for the future of U.S. military forces and for U.S. government inter-agency collaboration in general. This report is designed to provide an assessment of current OIF developments, in the context of relevant background, in order to support congressional consideration of these short-term and long-term strategy and policy issues."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34387
U.S. Department of State, Foreign Press Center: http://www.fpc.state.gov/