Airing Saturday on C-SPAN 2 American History TV

On March 20, 2003, President George W. Bush announced the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein and destroyed his alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.

But U.S. forces found no WMD, and rather than greeting the invaders as liberators after reaching Baghdad, Iraqis soon treated them as occupiers, leading to years of civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives across the sectarian divide.

History As It Happens podcast host Martin Di Caro interviews Melvyn Leffler, a preeminent scholar of U.S. foreign policy, about why the U.S. went to war in 2003.

Mr. Leffler’s new book is “Confronting Saddam Hussein: George W. Bush and the Invasion of Iraq.”

A look at Iraq

PHOTOS: Timeline of events: 20 years since U.S.-led invasion of Iraq

Twenty years after the U.S. invaded Iraq - in blinding explosions of shock and awe - American forces remain in the country in what has become a small but consistent presence to ensure an ongoing relationship with a key military and diplomatic partner in the Middle East. 
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Iraq’s capital is full of life, its residents enjoying a rare peaceful interlude in a painful modern history. The city’s open-air book market is crammed with shoppers. Affluent young men cruise muscle cars. A few glitzy buildings sparkle where bombs once fell.
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It’s been 20 years since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began. Here are some key dates from the invasion and the following developments. 
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The Senate is advancing a vote to repeal two Iraq War authorizations as lawmakers push to reclaim congressional war powers 20 years after the last time U.S. troops invaded a nation.
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More from History As It Happens

This is the first in a multi-part series of episodes marking the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, which began on March 20, 2003.

This is the second in a multiple-part series of episodes marking the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, which began on March 20, 2003.

SEE ALSO: 20 years after U.S. invasion, young Iraqis see signs of hope

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