Swept aside by U.S. troops who drove through the streets of Baghdad, President Saddam Hussein's government collapsed today, ending three decades of ruthless Baath Party rule that sought to make Iraq the champion of a modern Arab world but left a legacy of fear, poverty and bitterness. Read more.
2003 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 148,900
U.S. troop deaths: 485
The American occupation of Iraq will formally end this month having failed to fulfill many of its goals and stated promises intended to transform the country into a stable democracy, according to a detailed examination drawing upon interviews with senior U.S. and Iraqi officials and internal documents of the occupation authority. Read more.
2004 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 150,200
U.S. troop deaths: 847
In the chaotic, hopeful April of 2003, Baghdad's Karrada district was one of those neighborhoods where residents showered flowers on U.S. forces entering the capital. Revelers threw water on one another and the Americans, exuding joy at the crushing of a dictatorship that had silenced, tortured and killed their people. Read more.
2005 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 159,000
U.S. troop deaths: 844
In these new Friday mornings, Hussein Ali turns off the television. He asks his wife and five daughters to leave the room. He places a rug on the floor between two beds and a small refrigerator, faces southeast and, with deep regret, begins to pray in his bedroom. Ali has left his mosque. "God says, do not throw yourself into death," he said. Read more.
2006 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 147,000
U.S. troop deaths: 820
Private security companies, funded by billions of dollars in U.S. military and State Department contracts, are fighting insurgents on a widening scale in Iraq, enduring daily attacks, returning fire and taking hundreds of casualties that have been underreported and sometimes concealed, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials and company representatives. Read more.
2007 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 166,000
U.S. troop deaths: 903
The gunfire struck like thunderclaps, building to a steady rhythm. American soldiers in a Stryker armored vehicle fired away from one end of the block. At the other end, two groups of Shiite militiamen pounded back with heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. American helicopters circled above in the blue afternoon sky. Read more.
2008 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 156,000
U.S. troop deaths: 313
Recitation of the Koran, mournful but consoling, played from a scratchy cassette as the men gathered in the funeral tent for condolences. They sipped bitter Arabic coffee, only enough to leave an aftertaste. As they smoked cigarettes, an American helicopter rumbled overhead, its rotors sounding the familiar drumbeat of war. Read more.
2009 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 139,000
U.S. troop deaths: 148
Lt. Col. Mark Bieger huddled his infantrymen in a darkened parking lot minutes before they were to depart Baghdad for the last time. "This is a historic mission!" he bellowed, struggling to be heard over the zoom of fighter jets and unmanned drones deployed to watch over the brigade's convoy to Kuwait. "A truly historic end to seven years of war." Read more.
2010 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 107,100
U.S. troop deaths: 60
Outside Baghdad Hospital, the gates are freshly painted white these days. Sidewalks are being cemented and marigolds planted, gestures of civility virtually impossible during the war, when Iraq's marquee public hospital was overwhelmed with casualties and itself targeted by mortar shells and bombs. Read more.
2011 in Numbers
Highest U.S. troop level: 47,100
U.S. troop deaths: 55
SOURCE: Emily Chow & Anup Kaphle. PHOTOS: File photos. Published: Dec. 08, 2011