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Operation IRAQI FREEDOM is the official U.S. code name for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and continuing operations in the Iraq War. "IRAQI FREEDOM" was an after-the-fact name used to convey a positive image; the actual code name for planning was Operation POLO STEP. [1]

Briefly, it had been called Operation Iraqi Liberation,[2] changed when it was realized the abbreviation would be OIL, which could have undesired connotations. [3]

Officially, it ended when the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the last operational brigade in Iraq, left in August 2010. [4] Six other brigades actually remain, but they are called "advise and assist" units charged with training.


  1. Tommy, Franks (2004), American Soldier, Reganbooks p. 396
  2. Fleischer, Ari (March 24, 2003), White House Press Briefing
  3. George W. Bush (March 18, 2006), Fact Sheet: Operation Iraqi Freedom: Three Years Later, The White House
  4. Ernesto Londoño (19 August 2010), Washington Post