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Where is Iraq today, 20 years after the US-led invasion?

M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks in Baghdad during the Occupation of Iraq
M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks in Baghdad during the Occupation of Iraq

On this edition of Your Call, we mark the 20th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq resulted in massive death and destruction, and fueled sectarian tensions, which culminated in a violent civil war. More than 300,000 Iraqis have died from direct war violence and 9.2 million people have been internally displaced, according to Brown University's Costs of War Project.

Coalition forces, including the United States and United Kingdom, dropped thousands of indiscriminate cluster munitions in populated areas and conducted indiscriminate airstrikes that killed civilians. US forces also subjected detainees in Abu Ghraib and other detention sites to torture, including sexual abuse and humiliation; wrongly killed protesters; and hired private military contractors who killed and injured dozens of civilians. UK forces have been responsible for abuses of hundreds of Iraqi detainees, including torture and unlawful killings, according to a new report by the Human Rights Watch.


Dr. Omar Sirri, research associate in the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, University of London

Web Resources:

The Guardian: We Iraqis had survived Saddam Hussein. It was the US invasion that destroyed our lives

The Guardian: Guns, cash, and frozen chicken: the militia boss doling out aid in Baghdad

The Guardian: A million lives later, I cannot forgive what American terrorism did to my country, Iraq

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.