On October 16, 2002, the 107th United States Congress passed the “Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq”, citing a number of grievances with the actual and suspected conduct of Iraq under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. More importantly, the resolution provided authority to President George W. Bush to use the Armed Forces of the United States in accordance with the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

By March 17th, 2003, a coalition of forces led by the United States was in position and prepared to invade Iraq. In a televised address, President Bush issued a final ultimatum to Saddam Hussein – “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing.” On March 20th, the 48-hour window lapsed, and Saddam had not relinquished his authority in Iraq. At 5:34 AM, local time, Operation Iraqi Freedom launched as the Coalition of the Willing breached the berm at the southern Iraqi border; by April 9th Baghdad had fallen.

20 years later, the fog of war has partially cleared, and much has been done to review the justification for the war, our actions during the war, and what was achieved. Local reporter Zane Wolfang of the Newport Daily News interviewed four VFW Post 406 members that participated in OIF, and reported on where they are now, and some of their reflections and memories of the conflict. His article can be found here: https://www.newportri.com/story/news/local/2023/03/27/iraq-war-20th-anniversary-newport-veterans-reflect-on-service/70037403007/

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