The Iraq War, also known as the Second Gulf War, the Occupation of Iraq, or the War in Iraq, is an ongoing military campaign which began on March 20, 2003 with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a multinational force composed largely of United States and United Kingdom troops supported by smaller contingents from Australia, Denmark, Poland and other nations.
All of the Arab states and a number of members of the NATO alliance did not publicly support the invasion, while some Eastern European states were willing to offer their public support.
Prior to the war, Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was claimed to pose a serious and imminent threat to the security of the United States and its coalition allies. This assessment was supported by the U.K. intelligence services, but not by other countries such as France, Russia and Germany. United Nations weapons inspectors found no evidence of WMD, giving support to earlier criticism of poor intelligence on Iraqi WMDs. After the invasion, the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the Iraq sanctions were lifted.
Although some degraded remnants of misplaced or abandoned chemical weapons from before 1991 were found, they were not the weapons for which the coalition invaded. The failure to find WMD in Iraq caused controversy, particularly in the United States. Some U.S. officials also accused Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting Al-Qaeda, but no evidence of any collaborative relationship was found. Other reasons for the invasion stated by U.S. officials included Iraq's alleged financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, Iraqi government human rights abuses, spreading democracy, and Iraq's oil reserves, although that was denied by other officials. Bush reportedly told Palestinian officials either that God inspired him to end the tyranny in Iraq, or to hit Saddam.