The Iraq War started in 2003 in a quest to rid the nation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) that were never found. It lasted over 8 years, during which more than 30,000 U.S. service members were wounded and almost 4,500 American lives lost. Comprised of some 275 entries, this comprehensive encyclopedia examines the war from multiple points of view. Each article is written by an expert with specialized knowledge of the topic.The reference covers every aspect of the Iraq War, from the U.S. invasion (Operation IRAQI FREEDOM) through the rise of Al Qaeda in Iraq, the surge, and the U.S. withdrawal. Other significant aspects of the conflict are addressed as well, including Abu Ghraib, WMDs, the controversial use of private military contractors, and Britain's role in the war. The book also features an overview essay, a "e;causes and consequences"e; essay, maps, photos, a chronology, and a bibliography.