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Includes more than 75 photos, maps and plans
This particular book is about Marines during the first stage of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). It spans the period from 11 September 2001 to March and April 2003, when the Coalition removed Saddam Hussein from power, and concludes in November 2003 when the Marines left Kuwait to return to their home bases in the U.S.. While many then believed that the “kinetic” phase of the fighting in Iraq was largely over, as we now know, it was only a prelude to a longer but just as deadly phase of operations where Marines would be redeployed to Iraq in 2004 to combat insurgents (both foreign and domestic) who had filtered back into the country. However, this phase of the fighting would be very different from the one the Marines and U.S. Army had fought in the spring of 2003 in the march up to take Baghdad.
The primary focus of the book is I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF)-the run-up to the war in 2002 and early 2003, especially the development of “the plan,” with its many changes, the exhaustive rehearsals, and other preparations, and then the conduct of decisive combat operations and the immediate postwar period, mostly under the control of the U.S. Central Command’s Coalition Forces Land Component Command. The book also touches upon other Marine activities in the Military Coordination and Liaison Command in northern Iraq and with the British in the south. Nonetheless, the primary focus remains on I Marine Expeditionary Force and the interactions of its constituent elements. Other forthcoming History Division publications will soon offer detailed narratives on Marines in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and II MEF operations inside Iraq.