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Today in history: 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' begins
Eleven years ago today, a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq
 
President Bush waves to the soldiers of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division during a visit to Ft. Stewart, Ga., Sept. 12, 2003.
President Bush waves to the soldiers of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division during a visit to Ft. Stewart, Ga., Sept. 12, 2003. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

March 19, 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." Some 4,486 Americans were killed in the Iraq war, and 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.

March 19, 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


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