Collection News

Targeting Iraq, Part 1: Planning, Invasion and Occupation, 1997-2004

Targeting Iraq, Part 1: Planning, Invasion, and Occupation, 1997-2004 is a collection of 2,141 records, many only recently declassified, documenting U.S. policy toward Iraq from 1997 through mid-2004. Included is material from President Bill Clinton’s second term, when the overthrow of Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, became official United States policy, documents covering the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and information on the 18 months of direct U.S. occupation. The latter ended during the summer of 2004, when Iraqis technically regained their sovereignty and the Coalition Provisional Authority, set up by the U.S. to administer Iraq, was dissolved. The collection includes documents from the State and Defense Departments reflecting debates within both the Clinton and the Bush administrations about how best to achieve American objectives in Iraq, and discussions from the Bush presidency about tactics for winning congressional, United Nations, foreign, and domestic support for the United States’ decision to invade Iraq. Included are examples of the intelligence reporting that underlay U.S. allegations that Iraq had active chemical, biological, and even nuclear weapons programs, and that Saddam Hussein was operationally linked to global terrorists, including the militant Islamist leader Osama bin Laden. Also available within the collection are examples of assessments championing these claims, and contradictory analyses arguing that the allegations were not confirmed by available evidence. Materials in the set can be used to compare raw and unconfirmed intelligence information reports, finished analyses, and documents that were prepared for public consumption, as the White House sought partners for the regime-change policy it had elected to pursue.

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