Iraq War

The Essential Reference Guide

by Brian L. Steed, Editor


More than a half million Iraqis and thousands of U.S. troops have been killed during the Iraq War, which also saw the rise in Iraq of the notorious terrorist groups Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

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Cover image for Iraq War

February 2019


Pages 349
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
  Military History/Terrorism

This invaluable resource offers a comprehensive overview of the Iraq War, with more than 100 in-depth articles by leading scholars on an array of topics and themes and more than a dozen key primary source documents.

This book provides everything the reader needs to know about the Iraq War, from the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq, through the U.S. troop surge in 2007, to the rise of the Islamic State. It offers insight into the war through the events, organizations, and people who have had a major impact on the conflict. It also explains the inadvertent consequences of the conflict including worsening regional sectarian divisions, the Arab Spring, the increase in Iranian influence in the Middle East, and the expansion of international terrorism.

The book begins with a sweeping overview of the Iraq War that provides context for each of the reference entries that follow. The introductory material also includes detailed essays on the causes and consequences of the war. The bulk of the book consists of more than 120 reference entries on such topics as Saddam Hussein, the battles of Fallujah, and private military contractors such as Blackwater and Halliburton. In addition, the book includes more than a dozen curated and contextualized primary source documents along with a comprehensive chronology and extensive bibliography.


  • Explores how the Bush Doctrine was employed to justify the US decision to invade Iraq
  • Illuminates the key leaders and the military strategy they implemented in conducting the Iraq War
  • Explains how a series of flawed military and political decisions created a dysfunctional government in Baghdad
  • Informs readers of the disruptive influence the Iraq War has had on the entire Middle East
Author Info

Brian L. Steed is an assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and a former Middle East foreign area officer who served three times in Iraq (2005, 2010 –2011, 2014 –2015). He is author or editor of eight books and numerous articles on military theory, military history, narrative space, and cross-cultural influence including ISIS: An Introduction and Guide to the Islamic State and Voices of the Iraq War: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life.

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Voices of the Iraq War cover imageModern Conflict in the Greater Middle East cover imageArab-Israeli Conflict cover image
Americans at War cover imageU.S. Conflicts in the 21st Century cover imageArab-Israeli Conflict cover image

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