U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO BY LANCE CPL. BRIAN L. WICKLIFFE RAPID U.S. ADVANCES CHARACTERIZE START OF This month marks the 15th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which heralded the eight-year-long Iraq War. Here’s a brief rundown of American troops involved in the invasion and the objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom . BY JANIE DYHOUSE IRAQ WAR W 14 • VFW • MARCH 2018 hile U.S. troops were deeply embroiled in the war on terror in Afghanistan in 2003, another war loomed. President George W. Bush’s administration believed that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons, pos-ing a threat to the United States. Furthermore, Bush and his advisers thought that Hussein had direct ties to the Al Qaeda terrorist organization founded by Osama Bin Laden.