This is a four part seed put into one article from Military Times titled “Operation Iraqi Freedom – Ten Years After the Invasion”. It is a military viewpoint of the war and the changes and lessons learned for future conflicts. This will balance off with another article I seeded from Asia Times which showed the war from a State Dept. perspective. I would do one on a journalists/media perspective but they are out there by the hundreds. Most call it a mistake today but where were these journalists in March 2003?
Sit down and enjoy for it is a bit long but informative. The sidebars include much detail/numbers which show just how costly and huge this operation was. If you are not in the military this is a good read for it shows the true wages of war and how long our/your tax dollars pay this cost.
Early missteps in Iraq War led to new ideas on how to define, defeat enemy.
By Jeff Schogol - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Mar 4, 2013 10:22:06 EST
In the moonless dark of the Kuwaiti desert, U.S. Army troops cut eight lanes through sand-hill berms built along the Iraq border.
More than 100,000 American and coalition troops amassed on the Kuwaiti side March 20, 2003, with more than 150,000 others on the ground, in the air and at sea surrounding the country, including those aboard five aircraft carriers.
It was about 1 a.m. when a scout unit of the 3rd Infantry Division raced through the lanes. Other 3rd ID soldiers, joined by elements of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, led a furious charge to Baghdad and launched eight years of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
More than 1.5 million U.S. troops would deploy to OIF over that time. They would topple a tyrannical dictator and install a fledgling democracy……..
LITTLE U.S. MILITARY INFLUENCE REMAINS
The U.S. mission in Iraq continues nearly 10 years after the invasion — but it’s largely a civilian-run operation.
Fewer than 300 active-duty U.S. troops remain inside Iraq today, defense officials say, a small fraction of the roughly 16,000 employees who work in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest U.S. diplomatic outpost in the world, with an annual operating budget of about $5 billion.
Some of those troops are Marines doing embassy security like those…..
U.S. took Baghdad quickly but lost hearts, minds with lack of planning
By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Mar 4, 2013 11:43:52 EST
Before the fall of Baghdad, the explosion in sectarian violence in Iraq’s cities and the capture and execution of Saddam Hussein, uncertainty reigned supreme for the tens of thousands of U.S. troops waiting for war in Kuwait’s desert.
U.S. forces crossing the berm north into Iraq as part of the ground invasion March 20, 2003, knew Saddam’s military had a muscular arsenal of tanks and artillery but also worried about biological attacks and other weapons of mass destruction.
The opening gambit of the invasion was planned in detail, in part because commanders were concerned they’d have to move fast to prevent Iraqi forces from setting oil wells ablaze, flooding the Euphrates River and using other tactics that would make life difficult for U.S. troops and civilians in the region, they said. The result was a strategy based heavily on speed. The main effort called for a rapid advance from sprawling U.S. bases built in Kuwait.
SPENDING CUTS, CANCELED PROGRAMS TEST PENTAGON, INDUSTRY TIES
On June 27, 2001, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld submitted a $328.9 billion Pentagon budget request to Congress, with a surprisingly bold 13 percent boost over the previous defense budget submitted by the Clinton administration.
That was three months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks turned the defense-spending spigot wide open for more than a decade.
Iraq heroes emerge, determined to share stories of the fallen
By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 12, 2013 10:53:54 EDT
The Iraq War gave birth to a new generation of American heroes who battled a long and bloody insurgency and pulled that nation back from the brink of civil war.
They are the newest “greatest generation” — their stories told in basic training, their names emblazoned on ships, buildings, memorials, highways and bridges.
The Iraq War was the U.S. military’s first heavy, prolonged combat action since Vietnam. And troops today should know their actions are honored and recognized, said retired Marine Lt. Col. Thomas Richards, who was awarded the Navy Cross as an enlisted Marine in Vietnam.
“It’s important for people to know that if they do something, people will care enough to recognize them,” said Richards, a past national commander of the Legion of Valor, which honors recipients of the Medal of Honor and the three service crosses.
Doug Sterner, curator of the Military Times Hall of Valor database, agreed.
“The only difference I see in the heroes today and the heroes of the past is the ones we have today are volunteers, and they’re doing it again and again,” he said. “We need to be reminded that each generation has its own complement of heroes.”
Medal of Honor: 4
Distinguished Service Cross: 15
Navy Cross: 21
Silver Star: At least 454
Medal of Honor: Two Army, one Navy, one Marine Corps
Navy Cross: One Navy, 20 Marine Corps
Silver Star: At least 345 Army, at least 13 Navy, 13 Air Force and 83 Marine Corps
Conflict redefined warfare, altered U.S.'s global role
By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 19, 2013 14:30:52 EDT
Every major war carries with it many kinds of costs — in lives, limbs and dollars, to name a few.
Yet some costs can’t be tagged with a hard number. The long-term consequences of invading Iraq in 2003 include not only America’s lost blood and treasure but also the war’s irreversible impact on history.
The nearly nine-year war may have ended in 2011, but its ripple effects will be felt for decades. It shaped the worldview of a generation of future military leaders and arguably set in motion sweeping geopolitical changes across the Middle East.
For Americans, the war was controversial before it began. It was confusing at times, even for the troops on the ground fighting it. And it ended without the kind of decisive victory that marked the 1991 Persian Gulf War. As a result, some scholars say it may have fundamentally changed the way America views its global role.
“The long-term cost of the Iraq War is the disengagement of the American public from its world leadership role,” said Edward Turzanski, a national security analyst with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a think tank in Philadelphia.
“Iraq left such a bad taste in the mouths of so many Americans that ……
Better care meant more warriors survived wounds
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 19, 2013 14:30:36 EDT
Over the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 3,542 troops were killed and 32,221 were wounded in combat action, according to Defense Department data.
Among the wounded, injuries run the gamut: amputated limbs, shredded muscles and bones, facial scars, burns, paralysis.
And tens of thousands of troops who deployed to Iraq — as many as 20 percent, by some estimates — suffered brain injuries or post-traumatic stress, long-term “invisible” wounds that may not be reflected in casualty data.
Yet with advances in battlefield medical care, the Iraq War has created a generation of warriors who have survived catastrophic injuries that would have led to certain death in earlier conflicts.
“We are routinely saving folks who in any other war would have died,” said Rear Adm. C. Forrest Faison III, who commands Navy Medicine West and San Diego Naval Medical Center.
Those transported to the first level of lifesaving care on the battlefield,…….
INSIDE AMERICA’S COSTLIEST WARS
The U.S. spent nearly $1 trillion on the Iraq War, which officially ended in 2011.
But experts say the full costs of the war will not peak until about 2040, when many of today’s youngest veterans will be middle-aged and looking to the Veterans Affairs Department for their health care.
“The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts will be the most expensive wars we’ve ever fought,” said Linda Bilmes, a Harvard University professor who has done extensive research on the cost of wars.
Bilmes’ research suggests the two wars may ultimately cost an additional $600 billion to $1 trillion in veterans benefits alone. She and others point to several factors likely to push costs far higher than previous wars:
More catastrophic injuries… Advances in battlefield medicine have greatly reduced the number of troops killed in action, but those advances also mean more troops return home with life-altering disabilities that will require millions of dollars in care for decades to come.
IRAQ’S WOUNDED BY SERVICE
Marine Corps 8,625
Air Force 448