Photos: Looking Back at the War in Iraq, 15 Years After the U.S. Invaded

Fifteen years ago, the bombs started falling on Baghdad. U.S. war planners had hoped a campaign of “shock and awe” would expedite the conflict, demoralize the Iraqi forces, and speed up their surrender. While the initial overthrow of Saddam Hussein was relatively quick, the Iraq War itself was anything but. For nearly nine years, occupying coalition troops tried to work with Iraqis to secure and rebuild in the face of mistrust, poor post-invasion planning, U.S. mismanagement of defeated forces, insurgent rebellions, eruptions of sectarian violence, and serious self-inflicted issues like the inability to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (the main pretext for invasion), and the scandalous abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. The Iraq War caused more than 150,000 deaths, cost trillions of dollars, and its repercussions continue to have strong effects in the region, on foreign policy, and on thousands of families to this day.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Clive Mason / Getty

    Sparks Fly on F1 Racetracks

    In 2015, a rule change in Formula One racing brought titanium skid blocks back, in turn bringing about the return of the occasional bright rooster tail of sparks.

  • Alexandra Beier / Getty

    Oktoberfest 2018: Photos From the Opening Weekend

    The 185th Oktoberfest beer festival opened in Munich this weekend, and organizers are expecting more than 6 million visitors over the next two weeks.

  • Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Grassy Biker, Welsh Surfer, Chilean Pups

    A White Walker roams Northern Ireland, flooding threatens parts of the U.S. and Mali, a Japanese satellite visits an asteroid, American bison are raised in Mexico, and much more

  • Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty

    Photos: 25 Fridays of Protest in Gaza

    For nearly six months now, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have been staging weekly demonstrations along the border between Gaza and Israel—protests they call the “Great March of Return.”