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Chapter 18 - The Second Persian Gulf War: Operation Iraqi Freedom II, The Counterinsurgency War, 2003-2010



Discussion Questions

  1. Has the United States historically been an advocate for democracy in the Middle East? When did President Bush declare an end to hostilities? Was the war over?
  2. What are the differences between an insurgency and conventional war? What problems developed after the conventional war ended in Iraq?
  3. What role did the media play in Iraq? Was their reporting accurate? Why or why not? How did the military attempt to get its story to the public?
  4. What major ethnic and religious groups are found in Iraq? Can these groups work together? Did they see the Americans as liberators?
  5. What changes did the U.S. military make to be able to fight in two protracted wars? What was the American public called to do?
  6. What was Iraqiization? Did it face the same problems as Vietnamization? Compare and contrast Iraqiization and Vietnamization.
  7. Who is General David Petraeus? What is his background? What was his plan for Iraq?
  8. What is an insurgency? What is a counterinsurgency? What special strategy, skills or weapons are required to defeat an insurgency?
  9. Was the United States military prepared to fight an insurgency war in 2003? Why or why not?
  10. What role have private military firms played in Iraq? Should they be in Iraq? What are their advantages and disadvantages?


“George W. Bush. End of Major Combat in Iraq. San Diego, California. May 1, 2003.”

Department of Defense. “Principles of Information.”

Ithaca College. Roy H. Park School of Communications. “Media and Iraq.” With a variety of links.

Document. “National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.”

United States Institute of Peace. “Iraq Study Group; The Report.”

FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency.

Congressional Research Service. National Guard Personnel and Deployments: Fact Sheet.

Congressional Research Service. The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11.

Charlie Rose. “Gen. David Petraeus.” Video interview April 22, 2010.

CNN. “The Iraq war: a Nine-Year Timeline.”  With video of President Barack Obama on October 21, 2011 announcing troop withdrawals.