Lead up to Operation Iraqi Freedom

Key Events

1990 - Operation Desert Storm

February, 1990

Iraq invades Kuwait, prompting what becomes known as the first Gulf War. A massive US-led military campaign forces Iraq to withdraw in February 1991.

1991 - UN Weapons Inspections

April, 1991

Iraq subjected to weapons inspection program.

1998 - Iraq refuses inspections

October, 1998

1998 October - Iraq ends cooperation with UN weapon inspectors.

1998 - Operation Desert Fox

December, 1998

1998 December - US and Britain launch a bombing campaign, "Operation Desert Fox", to destroy Iraq's weapon programs

20001: 9/11 Terrorist Attacks


The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and the Washington, D.C

2002 - Bush Doctrine

September, 2002

2002 September - US President George W Bush tells world leaders at UN to confront the "grave and gathering danger" of Iraq - or stand aside as the US acts.

2002 - Inspections resume

November, 2002

2002 November - UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq

2003 - UN wants more time

March, 2003

2003 March - Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix reports that Iraq has increased its cooperation but says inspectors need more time to verify Iraq's compliance.

2003 - Iraqi Freedom

March 20, 2003

2003 March - US-led invasion topples Saddam Hussein's government, marks start of years of violent conflict with different groups competing for power.

2004: Presidential Election



Rycroft: Iraq is not a threat


Rumsfeld: Iraq is linked to terrorism


Friedman: War of Oil


Elbaradei: Iraq has no WMD's


Miller: Iraq will not pave way for democracy


Powell: Iraw has WMDs


O'Reilly: War is not about oil


Bush: Iraq is a threat


Rice: Iraq will bring democracy


Source: 9/11 Commision - no link Iraq & terrorism