Deployment in Iraq

1 August 2003 - 15 January 2012
Military personnel

On April 3 1991, the Security Council adopted resolution 687, declaring that Iraq should in future abide by the international agreements that prohibit the production and use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

The Council demanded that Iraq, under international supervision, destroy:

  • its weapons of mass destruction;
  • ballistic missiles with a range in excess of 150 kilometres;
  • all raw materials and facilities necessary for the production of these weapons.

Enforcing a UN Security Council decision

The international community was authorised under resolution 678 of 29 November 1990 to use all necessary means to enforce the Council’s decision (see Gulf War). Iraq declared time and time again that it was being completely open with regard to its arms programmes. The United States did not accept the Iraqi statements.

War with Iraq

Iraq was now considered to be a country that had weapons of mass destruction and, moreover, one that was prepared to make such weapons available to terrorists. Force was to be used if necessary to ensure Iraq’s compliance with Resolution 687. A coalition led by the US and the UK declared war on Iraq and invaded the country. The invasion was completed in less than a month (March-April 2003).

Administrative chaos

The coalition then disbanded the Iraqi army and security services and removed a substantial number of civil government employees from their positions. The coalition’s aim in this regard was to make a clean break with Iraq’s past and thereby give the country a new start. The result was administrative chaos, however. The general disorder gradually gave rise to organised resistance against the coalition troops and Iraqis who supported the coalition. In addition, new groups and parties that reflected the diversity of Iraq’s population came into being following the fall of the regime.