On this day. 2003: A U.S. led coalition invaded Iraq. President Bush said the goal of Operation Iraqi Freedom was to "disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger." The Iraqi invasion was strongly supported by Vice President Cheney. As Defense Secretary during the 1991 Gulf War, he opposed an invasion of Iraq, saying it wasn't worth the casualties or "getting bogged down." The U.S. combat role in Iraq ended last year. 4,486 Americans were killed, another 32,223 wounded. Direct spending on the Iraq war is estimated at $757 billion, a figure that does not include interest on money borrowed to finance the war — or taking care of veterans. A Brown University study in 2011 said it may also cost $1 trillion more (through 2050) to care for veterans of the 105-month war.
On this day. 2011: President Obama ordered air strikes on Libya, as part of a U.N. Security Council decision to enforce a no-fly zone. He told Congress that attacks were undertaken with French, British, and other allies, would be limited in scope and duration, and that preventing a humanitarian disaster in Libya was in the best interest of American foreign policy and national security goals.
Quote of the day
"The true history of my administration will be written 50 years from now, and you and I will not be around to see it." -George W. Bush
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here's how Iran is covering Russia's invasion of Crimea
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
- 4 easy ways to resolve life's toughest questions
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
Subscribe to the Week