The War on Terrorism: Saddam Hussein and Iraq

This page offers links to selected resources on the March-April 2003 US led military campaign against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and the broader context in which it occurred. Topics covered include Operation Iraqi Freedom, the debate over military action, life under Saddam, and the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). For resources on the political, economic, security, and other aspects of Iraq since the fall of Saddam's regime, please see my companion page The War on Terrorism: Post-Saddam Iraq.

Key Documents: 2002 Key Documents: 2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom: March-April 2003 The Pre-War Debate
Weapons of Mass Destruction: History and Background Weapons of Mass Destruction: Postwar Assessments
US Military Operations: 1991-2002 Iraq Under Saddam
The Impact of Sanctions: 1990-2003 Sources for Additional Research




Key Documents: 2002


Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002: (
  -Full text and summary of the resolution passed by Congress in October 2002, from the Library of Congress' THOMAS Web site.


CIA Letter to Senate on Baghdad's Intentions: (
-October 7th, 2002 letter from CIA Director George Tenet to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, discussing Iraqi intentions and links to al-Qa'ida. Posted by the University of Missouri's Freedom of Information Center, and originally published by the New York Times.


Hearings to Examine Threats, Responses, and Regional Considerations Surrounding Iraq: (
  -Transcript of hearings held before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on July 31 - August 1, 2002. Also available as a PDF document.


Iraqi Declaration on Weapons of Mass Destruction: (
  -Table of contents for Iraq's collection of WMD-related documents submitted to the UN on December 7th, 2002. Posted by the Federation of American Scientists.


Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs: (
  -October 2002 report from the Central Intelligence Agency.


Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Assessment of the British Government: (
  -Official dossier released on September 24, 2002.


Key Judgments: Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction: (
-"The following excerpts from an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate were declassified on July 18, 2003 and presented at a White House background briefing on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." Posted by the Federation of American Scientists.


Letter to the Honorable Kent Conrad and John M. Spratt Jr. regarding estimated costs of a potential conflict with Iraq: (
  -September 30, 2002 document from the Congressional Budget Office.


National Security Strategy of the United States of America: (
  -September 2002 document widely considered as providing the doctrinal basis for the US decision to confront Iraq.


United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441: (
-November 8th, 2002 resolution passed by the UN Security Council requiring Iraq to cooperate with the current round of weapons inspections. Click on "English" to see the text of the resolution.


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Key Documents: 2003


The Decision to go to War in Iraq: (
-Special report released on July 7, 2003 by the UK House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. Addresses the issue of whether the Blair government "sexed up" the evidence of the threat posed by Saddam's regime. Also available as a PDF file.


Iraq: Failing to Disarm: (
-The full transcript of Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5th, 2003 presentation before the UN Security Council, including video and slides.


Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants: (
  -May 28, 2003 report released by the CIA analyzing the two mobile laboratories found in Iraq.


United Nations Security Council: Draft Resolution, March 7, 2003: (
-Resolution proposed by the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain, setting a March 17, 2003 deadline for full Iraqi disarmament.


Unresolved Disarmament Issues: Iraq's Proscribed Weapons Programmes: (
-Full text of the 175 page report submitted to the UN Security Council by chief weapons inspector Dr. Hans Blix on March 7, 2003. Also known as the "cluster report".


Update on Inspection: (
-January 27th, 2003 report by Dr. Hans Blix, head of UNMOVIC, to the UN Security Council on the course of inspections and level of Iraqi cooperation to date.


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Operation Iraqi Freedom: March-April 2003


Australian Department of Defence: Operation Falconer: (
  -Official source of information on Australian military involvement in Iraq.


Catastrophic Interdiction: Air Power and the Collapse of the Iraqi Field Army in the 2003 War: (
-September 2003 study of "how air power helped bring about the collapse of the Iraqi Republican Guard and regular army in the 2003 war. Compares the air campaigns of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Storm, and estimates combatant casualties due to air interdiction in the 2003 war". From the Project on Defense Alternatives.


Center for Strategic and International Studies: Iraq Briefing Book: (
-Reports and analyses from CSIS specialists. Most reports focus on military trends and events, though some analyses of postwar Iraq, and the possible economic impact of military action, are included. War in Iraq: (
  -Features interactive background resources, and an archive of CNN's coverage from March 19-May 1, 2003.


The Conflict in Iraq: (
-Research paper published in May 2003 by the UK House of Commons Library. Provides a lengthy overview and analysis, with references to numerous news articles and other sources.


Disappearing the Dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Idea of a "New Warfare": (
-February 2004 analysis from the Project on Defense Alternatives, discussing perceptions of civilian casualties in the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns. Target Iraq: (
-Detailed analysis of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and of prewar US and Iraqi military options and capabilities. Features articles, maps, images, important documents, and links to other resources.


The Invasion of Iraq: (
  -Companion Web site to February 2004 PBS Frontline documentary, featuring interviews with journalists and commanders, a chronology of events, and links to various articles and reports.


Iraq: U.S. Military Operations: (
  -Report from the Congressional Research Service, last updated on October 2, 2003.


Off Target: The Conduct of the War and Civilian Casualties in Iraq: (
  -December 2003 report published by Human Rights Watch.


The Struggle for Iraq: Understanding the Defense Strategy of Saddam Hussein: (
  -Analysis published in the June 2003 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs.


UK Ministry of Defence: Operation Telic: (
  -Official news and information on British military forces deployed in Iraq.


United States Central Command: (
-Official Web site for headquarters of US forces in Iraq and the Middle East. Offers briefing transcripts, news updates, images and videoclips. Includes information on the 55 most wanted Iraqi leaders.


The Wages of War: Iraqi Combatant and Noncombatant Fatalities in the 2003 Conflict : (
  -October 2003 analysis produced by the Project on Defense Alternatives.


War Report: Iraq War and Afghan Aftermath: (
  -Index of links to news articles, reports and other documents, from the Project on Defense Alternatives. Links are archived as far back as August 2002.


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The Pre-War Debate


The Bush Doctrine and War With Iraq: (
-Assessment of the Bush Administration's national security doctrine and its applicability to Iraq, from the Spring 2003 issue of Parameters.


Can Saddam Be Contained? History Says Yes: (
  -November 2002 analysis by professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt.


First Strike Guidelines: The Case of Iraq: (
  -September 2002 analysis of possible US military action against Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD), from the Project on Defense Alternatives.


Getting Serious About Iraq: (
  -Article by Brookings Institution scholars Philip H. Gordon, Michael O'Hanlon, and Martin Indyk from the Autumn 2002 issue of Survival.


Gunning for Saddam: (
  -Companion Web site to PBS Frontline documentary includes interviews and articles analyzing Saddam and his regime, the state of his WMD program, possible support for terrorism, and whether America should take military action against him.


Iraq: Consequences of War: (
  -October 2002 analysis from the Oxford Research Group.


Iraq Policy Briefing: Is There an Alternative to War?: (
  -February 2003 report from the International Crisis Group.


Iraq: What Next?: (
-January 2003 analysis advocating a continuation of UN weapons inspections, from the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace.


Next Stop Baghdad?: (
  -Article from the March/April 2002 issue of Foreign Affairs, advocating military action as the best option for dealing with Saddam. Written by Kenneth Pollack, author of The Threatening Storm.


Thinking Out Loud: Policies Toward Iraq: (
  -February 1999 analysis of US policy options from the United States Institute of Peace.


War and the Iraq Dilemma: Facing Harsh Realities: (
  -Analysis of a possible American invasion of Iraq from the Autumn 2002 issue of Parameters.


The War Behind Closed Doors: (
  -Web site for PBS Frontline documentary analyzing the doctrines underlying the Bush Administration's policy towards Iraq. The site includes video clips, a program transcript, interviews, and links to related readings.


War With Iraq: Costs, Consequences, and Alternatives: (
-December 2002 report examining the potential economic and strategic costs of invading Iraq, issued by the Committee on International Security Studies of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.


Would an Invasion of Iraq Be a "Just War"?: (
  -January 2003 special report from the United States Institute of Peace.


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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): History and Background

Arms Control Association: Country Resources - Iraq: (
-Articles and other documents analyzing Iraq's WMD capabilities and offering policy recommendations.

Center for Nonproliferation Studies: Iraq Special Collection: (
-Offers reports, articles, background information, and United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) documents.

Disarming Iraq: The Lessons of UNSCOM: (
-October 28, 2002 background report from the Heritage Foundation.

How Iraq Conceals and Obtains its Weapons of Mass Destruction: (
-Analysis published in the March 2003 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs.

Information Paper: Iraq's Scud Ballistic Missiles: (
-July 2000 Department of Defense report on Iraq's use of Scud missiles during the Gulf War, possible chemical and biological capability, and residual Scud threat. Part of the DOD's GulfLINK Web site on Gulf War veteran's illnesses, which features many other documents dealing with Iraqi chemical and biological weapons.

Inspecting Iraq: A Record of the First 40 Days: (
-Compilation of news and media reports released on January 4th, 2003 by the Project on Defense Alternatives.

International Atomic Energy Agency: IAEA and Iraq : (
-Press releases, major documents, and inspections updates from the agency responsible for inspecting suspected Iraqi nuclear facilities.

Iraq: A New Approach: (
-In depth analysis of Iraq's WMD programs, including congressional testimony from specialists, and a September 2002 report advocating "coercive inspections" of suspected Iraqi WMD sites. From the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace.

Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction: (
-"The documents presented in this electronic briefing book include the major unclassified U.S. and British assessments of Iraqi WMD programs, the reports of the IAEA and UNSCOM covering the final period prior to the 1998 expulsions, the transcript of a key speech by President George W. Bush, a recently released statement on U.S. policy towards combating WMD, and documents from the 1980s and 1990s concerning various aspects of Iraqi WMD activities." From the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Iraq: The UNSCOM Experience: (
-Detailed fact sheet published in October 1998 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Iraq Watch: (
-Detailed source of prewar documentation and analysis on Iraq's WMD programs. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control.

Iraq WMD Dossier Statement: (
-Summary of September 2002 report released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Spying On Saddam: (
-Companion Web site to 1999 PBS Frontline documentary on UN weapons inspections in Iraq from 1991-98 and their impact. Includes interviews with former inspectors and other specialists, as well as images and links to additional readings.

United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC): (
-Body created in December 1999 to replace UNSCOM in overseeing Iraqi WMD disarmament. Conducted inspections for chemical and biological weapons in 2002-03.

United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM): (
-Official Web site of the UN body charged with monitoring Iraqi WMD disarmament from 1991-1998. Includes full-text reports and other documents.

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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): Postwar Assessments

Chasing Saddam's Weapons: (
-Companion Web site to January 2004 PBS Frontline documentary on the US led search for WMD in post-Saddam Iraq. Includes interviews with weapons inspectors Hans Blix and David Kay, as well as links to additional readings.

Disarming Iraq: What Did the UN Missions Accomplish?: (
-April 2003 briefing memo from the Project on Defense Alternatives.

The Hutton Inquiry: (
-Official British investigation of the alleged role of the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair in causing the suicide of Dr. David Kelly, and whether the government "sexed up" its prewar assessments of Iraqi WMD capabilities. Includes Lord Hutton's final report, as well as hearing transcripts and documents submitted as evidence.

Intelligence on Iraq: (
-Collection of resources on the postwar WMD controversy, compiled by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Includes analysis from Carnegie specialists, Bush administration statements, intelligence reports, congressional speeches and documents, and links to other resources. Includes the CEIP's January 2004 report WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications (PDF file).

Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction: (
-Speech delivered by CIA Director George Tenet on February 5, 2004.

Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction – Intelligence and Assessments: (
-September 2003 report by the British government's Intelligence and Security Committee.

Kay Testimony: (
-Full transcript of the testimony of David Kay, former head of the Iraq Survey Group, before the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 28, 2004.

Spies, Lies, and Weapons: What Went Wrong: (
-Article by Iraq specialist Kenneth Pollack, published in the January 2004 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, discussing the discrepancy between prewar WMD estimates and what has been found in Iraq to date. 

Statement on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG): (
-October 2, 2003 statement to Congress by ISG head David Kay on the status of the hunt for Iraqi WMD.

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US Military Operations: 1991-2002

Confronting Iraq: U.S. Policy and the Use of Force Since the Gulf War: (
-Report published in 2000 by the RAND Corporation.

Eyes on Saddam: U.S. Overhead Imagery of Iraq: (
-April 2003 electronic briefing book produced by the National Security Archive.

FAS Military Analysis Network: Confrontation With Iraq: (
-Detailed archive of information on US military operations in Iraq from 1990-2000, provided by the Federation of American Scientists.

The Gulf War: (
-Companion Web site to PBS Frontline documentary on the 1990-91 Persian Gulf conflict, featuring numerous interviews, maps, and other information.

Iraq: Former and Recent Military Confrontations With the United States: (
-Report from the Congressional Research Service, last updated on October 16th, 2002.

Operation Desert Storm: Ten Years After: (
-Electronic briefing book of declassified documents that "shed light on role of intelligence, stealth technology and space systems in the Gulf War". Compiled by the National Security Archive.

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Iraq Under Saddam

The Great Terror: (
-Article by Jeffrey Goldberg from the March 25th, 2002 issue of the New Yorker, discussing Saddam's brutal treatment of Iraqi Kurds and possible links to al-Qa'ida.

Human Rights Watch: Background on the Crisis in Iraq: (
-Index of reports, articles, and news releases, organized by topic.

Iraq - A Country Study: (
-Detailed background on Iraq's history, politics, culture, society, and ethnic and religious groups. Produced by the Library of Congress in 1988.

Iraq Backgrounder: What Lies Beneath: (
-October 2002 report from the International Crisis Group "reviews the mechanics of Saddam Hussein’s rule, looks at the political dynamics that govern relations between religious and ethnic entities, and describes the various opposition groups and their potential role."

Iraq Foundation: (
-Reports and documentation on the human rights situation in Iraq. Includes translations of selected Iraqi Gulf War documents, information on the destruction of villages in the marshes of southern Iraq, and links to Iraqi opposition Web sites.

Iraq Research and Documentation Project (IRDP): (
-Digitized collection of Iraqi government documents captured after the Gulf War. Selected documents are available in English translation, as well as chronologies, bibliographies, and links to other resources.

Iraq's Security and Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis: (
-Article from the September 2002 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs.

Operation "Termination of Traitors": The Iraqi Regime Through its Documents: (
-Scholarly analysis of Saddam's repression of the Kurds of northern Iraq, based on captured Iraqi documents. Published in the September 2002 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs.

Saddam Husayn Between His Power Base and the International Community: (
-Analysis of Saddam's foreign and domestic policies from the the December 2000 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs.

The Survival of Saddam: (
-PBS Frontline Web site offers interviews and readings discussing the nature of Saddam and his regime, and how he was able to maintain his hold on power after the Gulf War.

Voices From the Iraqi Street: (
-December 2002 report from the International Crisis Group on Iraqi popular attitudes towards Saddam's regime and the prospect of American military action.

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The Impact of Sanctions: 1990-2003

Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq: (
-"The Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq (CASI) aims to raise awareness of the effects of sanctions on Iraq, and campaigns on humanitarian grounds for the lifting of non-military sanctions. CASI does not support or have ties to the government of Iraq." Includes articles, briefings, and other resources. CASI dissolved itself in October 2003.

Effects of Sanctions on Iraq: (
-April 2002 article from the Online Journalism Review surveying Internet-based coverage of this topic, with links to numerous articles and other resources.

Office of the Iraq Programme: Oil for Food: (
-Official Web site of the UN agency responsible for adminstering food sales to Iraq under the sanctions program from 1996-November 2003. Includes background information and relevant documents.

Permanent Mission of Iraq to UNESCO: Reports: (
-Features official Saddam-era Iraqi government reports on the effects of UN sanctions on Iraqi health and education.

Sanctions on Iraq: A Valid Anti-American Grievance?: (
-Article by Michael Rubin from the December 2001 issue of the Middle East Review of International Affairs, arguing that the impact of sanctions has been deliberately exaggerated by the Iraqi government.

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Sources for Additional Research

Academic Info: Iraq Studies Gateway: (
-Index of links to news, government, activist, and research sites.

Brookings Institution: Iraq Report: (
-Daily updates, and analyses from Brookings specialists written during March and April 2003.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Reconstructing Iraq: (
-Sizable index of news articles, reports, documents, and analyses. Topics of special interest include "Weapons of Mass Destruction", "Reconstructing Iraq", and "Regime Change".

Council on Foreign Relations: Iraq Resource Center: (|35||1).
-Excellent collection of news articles, opinion pieces, introductory background and analysis, reports, documents, and related links.

Government Views of Iraq: (
-Lengthy, annotated list of links to reports, statements, and other documents from the US government, as well as from Great Britain, other governments, and the UN.

Iraq Related CRS Reports: (
-Congressional Research Service reports from August 2002 to the present, made available by the State Department's Foreign Press Centers.

Iraq: Selected Online Resources: (
-March 2003 Webliography from the USAF Air University Library.

Middle East Institute: Iraq: (
-Basic facts and figures, with links to additional resources and to MEI articles and analyses.

The New Yorker: The War in Iraq: (
-Selected articles from the magazine, posted between 2001-May 2003.

Speech & Transcript Center: (
-Directory of links to transcripts, reports, and other reference sources from the US and foreign governments, most from March and April of 2003.

United Kingdom Parliament: Military Action in Iraq: (
-Includes the text of relevant statements, floor debates, committee actions, and parliamentary voting results, as well as links to research papers from the House of Commons Library.

US Institute of Peace Library: Iraq Web Links: (
-Excellent topical list of Web links, covering government and politics, news resources, and selected reports and documents.

University of Michigan Documents Center: Iraq War Debate - 2002/2004: (
-Comprehensive directory of Web links and other resources.

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Return to War on Terrorism Resource Guides

Created and maintained by David Durant, Political Science and Government Documents Librarian at East Carolina University. This page and the sites that it links to do not necessarily reflect the views of Joyner Library and East Carolina University.

Last Modified: December 15, 2005

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The War on Terrorism: Saddam Hussein and Iraq - Joyner Library

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