Graphics: 20 years on, a look back at the Iraq War
Updated 17:10, 20-Mar-2023

The invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and coalition forces in March 2003 saw the beginning of the Iraq War, and the main U.S. military pullout from Iraq was ultimately completed by 2011.

By using a group of data, let's look back at the Iraq War.

Cost of the Iraq War

Over 120,000 civilians were killed between 2003 and 2011, according to the Iraq Body Count project. The annual number of documented civilian deaths in the Iraq War peaked in 2006 at 29,526. The annual number had decreased to 4,162 documented deaths by 2011.

On the U.S. side, about 4,500 soldiers died in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, and many of others survived but were left tortured by physical and mental scars. In 2007, there were over 900 documented deaths of U.S. soldiers, making it the deadliest year for the U.S. side, and the number progressively decreased thereafter. According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, U.S. spending on the war in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 totaled $797.3 billion, and the spending peaked at $142.1 billion in 2008.

Graphics: 20 years on, a look back at the Iraq War

Post-war impact

After decades of conflict and widespread violence in Iraq, the human toll has been extensive. 

The issue of refugees remains an urgent issue to solve. In 2003, there were 368,577 refugees under the UNHCR's mandate in Iraq. However, in 2007, the refugee number surpassed 2 million. After decades of conflict and widespread violence in Iraq, nearly 1.2 million Iraqis continue to be internally displaced, according to data from the UNHCR.

Suicide has also emerged as an urgent post-war problem among U.S. soldiers. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for post-9/11 veterans, accounting for 22.3 percent of all deaths, based on data from the Stop Soldier Suicide website. 

After 20 years, the U.S. has not brought freedom and peace to Iraq. Instead, the war has led to the collapse of the state, rampant terrorist activities, serious social fragmentation and a loss of livelihood for many ordinary people. A total of 93.15 percent of respondents to a survey of global internet users, conducted by CGTN, believe the U.S. should account for any war crimes it committed in Iraq. 

Read more:

Questionnaire on the 20th Anniversary of the Iraq War

(Data edited by Sun Yiwen; graphics designed by Mukesh Mohanan)

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