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The Republican Party's campaign platform in the 2000 election called for "full implementation" of the Iraq Liberation Act as "a starting point" in a plan to "remove" Saddam.

After 9/11, the Bush Administration national security team actively debated an invasion of Iraq.

and in 1991 a military coalition led by the United States launched the Gulf War to expel Iraq from Kuwait.

Following the Gulf War, the US and its allies tried to keep Saddam in check with a policy of containment.

This article is about the war that started in 2003 and ended in 2011.

For the initial invasion, see 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The al-Maliki government enacted policies that were widely seen as having the effect of alienating the country's Sunni minority and worsening sectarian tensions.

An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first 3–4 years of conflict. The invasion led to the collapse of the Ba'athist government; Saddam was captured during Operation Red Dawn in December of that same year and executed by a military court three years later. Many violent insurgent groups were supported by Iran and al-Qaeda in Iraq. involvement in Iraq accelerated under President Barack Obama.On the day of the attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asked his aides for: "best info fast.Judge whether good enough hit Saddam Hussein at same time.UNSCOM, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, worked to ensure that Iraq destroyed its chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and facilities.In the decade following the Gulf War, the United Nations passed 16 Security Council resolutions calling for the complete elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

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