Iraqi Freedom, Operation (2003 War Against Iraq)
█ K. LEE LERNER
After failed efforts to persuade the United Nations Security Council to endorse the use of force to disarm Iraq and oust the regime of Saddam Hussein, the United States, United Kingdom, and a coalition of countries resolved to achieve those aims through military action. Although regime change—the forced elimination of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his sons from power—was initially only a stated goal of the United States, it became a de facto goal of all coalition forces.
Although Iraq's military power was not as great—and the cause not as directly apparent as the need to expel Iraqi forces following their brutal invasion and occupation of Kuwait that led to the Persian Gulf War of 1990–1991—U.S. officials asserted that Iraq's proven development and use of weapons of mass destruction in the past made Iraq a potential source of those weapons for terrorists who could then use them against U.S. or other Western targets.
In 2002, some Pentagon and administration officials urged immediate and direct action be taken by the United States to disarm Iraq. There were also more controversial calls for a regime change in Baghdad as the only means to assure Iraqi disarmament. United States President George W. Bush decided instead to seek international cooperation to disarm Iraq. In September 2002, Bush addressed the United Nations and called for a strong resolution that, backed by the ultimate threat of the use of military force to disarm Iraq, would assure that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction and assure that Iraq's capability to develop such weapons was destroyed.
In October 2002, the United States Congress voted Bush the authority to use military force to enforce UN resolutions.
In November 2002, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1441 that reiterated Iraq's obligations to disarm in accordance with prior treaty and resolution obligations and further recognized the threat that "Iraq's non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security." Resolution 1441 proceeded to restate Security Council intentions to "restore international peace and security in the area."
U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell stressed that the United States and its coalition partners had "limited patience" for continued Iraqi noncompliance with United Nations resolutions. President Bush and other United States officials insisted that Iraq was in "material breech" of UN resolutions and that military action could be undertaken to disarm Iraq under the terms of existing resolutions.
In February and March of 2003, it became apparent that the United States, United Kingdom, and supporting countries on the United Nations Security Council could not reach a consensus with other permanent members France, Russia, and China, on the need to use immediate
military force to enforce UN resolutions. As the diplomatic efforts stalled, war became more likely.
In late February 2003, a series of political and tactical setbacks seemingly delayed American action. Although a measure to support American bases in Turkey was supported by Turkey's president and military leaders, the Turkish parliament failed to muster a sufficient majority to pass a resolution allowing United States forces to use Turkish soil as a base for a northern front against Iraq. The resolution would have allowed Pentagon planners to place 62,000 American troops and heavy tanks along the northern Iraqi border with Turkey. It was not until after hostilities eventually started that Turkey allowed coalition forces limited use of Turkey's airspace to strike Iraq.
In the final weeks before the war, British and American air forces that had been patrolling the southern no-fly zone since the end of the Gulf War began a psychological campaign to discourage Iraqi resistance. Aircraft began dropping massive numbers of leaflets near military sites that encouraged Iraqi soldiers not to resist the overwhelming attack to come, and specifically warned Iraqi military leaders that they would be held accountable as war criminals for any use of biological or chemical weapons. In addition to radio broadcasts, psychological operations (PSYOPS) also included targeting Iraqi officials with emails and phone calls designed to discourage their resistance or warn them of the consequences of war crimes.
Despite the logistical setbacks and delays, by March 5, U.S. secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and U.S. general Tommy R. Franks announced that U.S. military forces were ready to execute an attack against Iraq upon President Bush's order.
Diplomatic efforts continued to secure Turkish cooperation, but military planners set out a number of options and alternatives for war against Iraq without the immediate use of the U.S. infantry divisions and airborne forces moving southward from Turkey. One focus of the planning involved the threat of a sudden and massive first strike (termed "shock and awe" warfare) that would immediately overwhelm Iraqi defense forces. Planners worried that a gradual or escalating series of attacks would risk allowing Saddam Hussein to strike preemptively at Israel and thus potentially widen the war.
Counting army, navy, marine corps, air force and special operations forces, U.S. General Tommy Franks commanded a force of approximately 225,000 American and 25,000 British soldiers from the Central Command
post in Qatar. As with the Gulf War, the United States utilized a special reserve of commercial aircraft chartered specifically to transport forces to the region. An estimated 110,000 army and marine corps troops were located in Kuwait. Although the force was large, ground forces were approximately half the numbers used in the Gulf War.
Naval forces in the coalition centered upon five U.S. naval aircraft carriers located either in the Persian Gulf or eastern Mediterranean that remained within striking range of targets in Iraq. The carriers hosted air wings capable of delivering ordnance or in maintaining air superiority. In addition to the carriers, fleet forces consisted of more than two dozen missile ships and submarines—most capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles.
In addition to the naval air forces, more than 500 combat aircraft—including B–52s stationed in England, F117 stealth fighters, and B–2 stealth bombers—formed a powerful coalition air arsenal. For the first time in United States military history, some B–2 bombers were "forward deployed" to a base in Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Special climate controlled protective hangers were constructed to maintain the sophisticated stealth capabilities of the bombers.
Without a northern front with supply bases in Turkey, U.S. tactical plans called for the launching of a massive attack from Kuwait, with the insertion of lighter forces (e.g., airborne paratroopers) into northern Iraq to secure the oil fields and other critical infrastructure in that region. Without the support of the heavy artillery of the U.S. Fourth Infantry Division, which was stalled offshore near Iraq, the lighter forces would need to take on the well-equipped and entrenched Iraqi Republican Guard units defending the northern approaches to Baghdad. U.S. leaders were also concerned that troops prevent rival Kurdish groups located in the north from starting a civil war or launching raids against Turkish forces that would further destabilize the region.
Options to open a second front without Turkish cooperation included the use of forces from the 82nd Airborne Division in Kuwait, the 173rd Airborne brigade in Italy, Army Ranger units, and elements of the 101st Airborne Division assembling in the region.
U.S. and British air strikes against Iraqi targets in the northern and southern no-fly zones increased and expanded from simple retaliation against Iraqi air defense installations that routinely fired upon U.S. and British
aircraft to include Iraqi ground-to-ground missile launchers (e.g., Iraqi Astros-2 rockets, a Brazilian-made multiple-rocket launcher routinely transported via truck).
Events moved to a diplomatic breaking point in early March. France, Germany, Russia, and China staunchly opposed military enforcement of UN resolution 1441 and threatened veto of any United Nations resolution that might—even indirectly—authorize the United States and United Kingdom to lead forces to disarm Iraq. The United States, United Kingdom, and Spain put forth a resolution that simply declared Iraq in material breech of 17 prior UN resolutions. President Bush openly declared that he would force countries to "show their cards" with regard to Iraq. In a press conference on March 6, President Bush asserted that Saddam Hussein posed a direct and immediate danger to the security of the United States and, with regard to the United Nations and pending debate and resolutions, asserted that "diplomacy has failed" and that the "we really don't need anybody's permission" to defend the United States.
With war seemingly imminent, the United States, United Kingdom, and Spain amended a final resolution that set March 17, 2003, as a final deadline for the council to certify Iraqi compliance with prior resolutions. Although a threat of force was not contained within the resolution, there was little doubt that should Iraq fail to meet the deadline, the United States and United Kingdom would lead a multinational coalition to militarily disarm Iraq. The United States also sought and promised to depose Saddam Hussein and allow the Iraqi people a chance for democratic government.
With the UN Security Council deadlocked, the probable votes of the nonpermanent members hotly disputed, and the deadline at hand, the U.S., U.K. and Spain allowed their new proposal to die without a vote. Although he had once promised to call for a vote, President Bush stated that France "had shown their cards" and administration officials declared the "diplomatic window closed." Although France, Russia, and China declared that any U.S.-and U.K.-led coalition action against Iraq would be illegitimate and in violation of the UN charter, U.S. and U.K. officials rested on existing UN resolutions (one reason some experts claimed that another vote was not sought), Iraq's violation of the treaty that ended the Persian Gulf War, and assertions of the right of self defense to legitimize military action.
On the evening of March 17 (Washington time) President Bush, in a televised address carried around the world by major news organizations, issued Saddam Hussein and his sons (both high ranking Iraqi officials) a 48-hour deadline to leave Iraq or face war.
Bush urged Iraqi forces not to destroy infrastructure or natural resources (e.g., oil wells), and warned Iraqi military officials that the use of chemical or biological weapons would be treated as a war crime.
After citing potential threats to American security, Bush stated, "The United States did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety." "The danger is clear," Bush said. "Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country…." President Bush also issued a message to the Iraqi people stating, "the day of your liberation is near" and promised that "the tyrant [Hussein] will soon be gone."
Citing the increased "possibility" (indeed, some administration officials used the term "probability") of retaliatory terrorist strikes against U.S. interests, Bush raised the terror alert level to "high" (color code orange). As of May, 2003, no such attacks occurred.
Iraq immediately denounced the ultimatum and promised defiance. UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq and most countries withdrew diplomats and other personnel. France called for a ministerial level meeting of the UN Security Council, and a meeting of heads of state. The U.S. and U.K. ignored further French efforts and insisted that Hussein could only avoid war by exile. The British Parliament voted support of the use of U.K. forces in a military invasion of Iraq.
Sporadic fighting flared as the deadline approached. Hussein ignored the March 19 deadline, and approximately 90 minutes later—near dawn in Baghdad—U.S. jets made a strike using precision guided bunker buster bombs on a target near Baghdad believed to contain senior Iraqi officials, including Hussein. Pentagon officials subsequently said F–117 Nighthawk stealth fighter-bombers dropped 2000-pound (900-kilogram) satellite-guided bombs on a site where CIA officers developed information that Hussein might be in conference with other Iraqi leaders. For several weeks, the fate of Hussein would be debated, with Iraqi television showing images of Hussein that did not verify his survival.
Weeks later, a similar strike on an Iraqi leadership target occurred as U.S. forces were preparing to enter Baghdad. Once again, the fate of Hussein and other leaders remained uncertain.
Coalition intelligence services and special operations units played an important role in identifying and in some cases physically "painting" targets. Target painting refers to the process of identifying a target with a laser or an electronic signature device that allows weapons platforms (e.g. airplanes, tanks, etc.) to identify targets. Coalition special forces and intelligence units—including CIA units—operated inside Iraq for weeks prior to the initial attack. In addition to identifying targets, intelligence and psychological operations (PSYOPS) teams dropped tens of thousands of leaflets, and made radio broadcasts designed to discourage Iraqi resistance and possibly spark a coup against Hussein. Special efforts were made to psychologically separate regular Iraqi units, better trained Iraqi Republican Guard units, and Hussein's inner circle to facilitate the surrender of as many Iraqi forces as possible.
Bush made a further television address to announce the start of hostilities. Across Iraq, U.S. forces launched probing attacks, along with attacks to destroy Iraqi command and control facilities. Anti-aircraft radar and missile facilities were the targets of Tomahawk cruise missiles launched by U.S. naval vessels, and U.S. aircraft dropped precision-guided bombs against targets.
Hours after the U.S. strikes, Iraq fired at least four missiles into northern Kuwait. According to American officials, Patriot missiles intercepted at least two missiles. Fear of chemical attacks by Iraq forced coalition forces and residents of northern Kuwait to repeatedly put on protective clothing and gas masks. Subsequent analysis of missile remains—and others eventually launched into Kuwait—indicated that the missiles carried conventional, not chemical, warheads.
Fear of the use of weapons of mass destruction was based upon Hussein's use of chemical weapons against Iranian forces during the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, and his prior use of chemical weapons against civilians in rebellious areas of Iraq.
In an attempt to prove that Hussein had survived the initial attack and thus forestall possible Iraqi defections, Iraqi television broadcast a speech allegedly by Hussein. Western intelligence sources could not immediately verify that the speech was actually made by Hussein. Intelligence officials had long known that Hussein had a number of body doubles—some surgically altered to bear a closer resemblance to the Iraqi leader.
On March 20, U.S.-led forces intensified attacks and forces breached Iraqi defensive positions and barriers along the Kuwait border. Tank and mechanized infantry units penetrated nearly 100 miles (160km) into Iraq by the end of the first day. Embedded journalists relayed back video of tank units racing across the Iraqi desert toward Baghdad. British forces raced to surround and isolate the port city of Basra. U.S. forces began the mechanized march to Baghdad.
A brief lull in the aerial attacks on Baghdad by coalition forces, along with statements by U.S. officials regarding the potential surrender of significant portions of Iraq's Republican Guard units, provided additional evidence of special forces and intelligence unit contact with Hussein's inner circle. The lull in attacks against Baghdad also fueled speculation about whether Hussein was still alive, or in complete control of his forces.
In a Pentagon press briefing, Rumsfeld said, "We are in communication with still more people who are officials of the military at various levels, the regular army, the Republican Guard, the Special Republican Guard…." Offering surrender, Rumsfeld added, "We continue to feel that there's no need for a broader conflict if the Iraqi leaders act to save themselves and to prevent such further conflict." Although there were significant defections and surrenders of Iraqi forces, nothing approached the mass surrenders anticipated by optimistic U.S. officials.
On March 21, U.S.-led coalition forces launched a massive aerial bombardment of Baghdad and other targets throughout Iraq. GPS precision guided bombs and an estimated 300 cruise missiles targeted Iraqi command and control facilities. Within an hour of the start of the attack on Baghdad, coalition forces destroyed more than 25 major buildings that housed Iraqi governmental offices. Hussein's presidential palaces in and around Baghdad were also destroyed.
The March 21 assault, designated by Pentagon planners as "A-Day" (aerial attack day), was the start of the "shock and awe" pattern of precise, but massive attacks designed to stun the Iraqis into submission.
At a Pentagon press briefing Rumsfeld made a special effort to address comparisons of the coalition "A-Day" attacks to similar massive attacks during WWII (e.g. the firebombing of Dresden). Rumsfeld dismissed the comparisons as invalid because of the use of precision weapons against military and government targets as opposed to the deliberate use of "dumb bombs against broad areas."
Over the next three weeks, coalition forces moved farther and faster than any army in history. British forces surrounded Basra and Umm Qasr, and systematically took control of the cities with minimal losses. Within days the entire coastline of Iraq was under coalition control, although terrorist actions and pockets of resistance worked to slow the promised quick delivery of humanitarian assistance to Iraqis falling under U.S. control.
Special forces helped secure airfields designated H2 and H3 in the western region of Iraq. These forces also help control the "Scud box" area from which Iraq had launched missiles against Israel during the Gulf War.
On the road to Baghdad, U.S. troops fought battles in Najaf, Kut, and waged a pitched battle in Nasiriya before capturing a key bridge over the Euphrates River. U.S. forces fought Iraqi troops, terrorist guerrillas known as Martyrs of Saddam who engaged in suicide bombings, and fedayeen militia conducting suicide attacks. This was often complicated by Iraqi use of civilian human shields. However, the biggest delays in the U.S. advance were caused by a major sandstorm that precluded helicopter operations and the need to secure rapidly extending supply lines from rearguard attacks by troops and guerilla forces bypassed on the lightening thrust toward the Iraqi capital. U.S. forces also encountered fierce fighting in Karbala.
Coalition forces were also slowed by the need to wear clothing and equipment designed to protect them against chemical or biological weapons, although such protection ultimately proved unnecessary.
For a few days, American forces conducted operations about 100 miles south of Baghdad before resuming their push toward the city.
The war was the most intensely covered news event in history. Journalists embedded with coalition forces provided live pictures from the battlefield. In terms of both quantity and quality of coverage, the war was a profound event in media history. In many cases, the same facts were reported with vastly differing emphasis depending on the reporter's perspective or political/editorial orientation of the news agency. At other times, there were wide discrepancies in the amount of airtime or print space offered to particular stories. For the first time, several Arab television news channels, including Al-Jazeera, provided continuous coverage that competed with U.S.-based news organizations, the BBC, and European based news organizations.
While coalition forces were lauded by reporters and commentators from some news organizations for the use of precision weapons that reduced civilian casualties, other organizations continually emphasized graphic pictures of civilian and military casualties. Al-Jazeera, criticized before the war by many Western media editors for airing biased, inaccurate, and inflammatory anti-Western reports, drew intense criticism from U.S. officials for showing controversial video of coalition POWs held or executed by Iraqis.
Although considered an almost comical media sideshow by Western news agencies, the farcical interviews and briefings conducted by Iraq's minister of information, Said Sahaf, were reported more seriously by Arab news channels. Even as U.S. troops raced toward Baghdad, Sahaf continued to insist that U.S. troops had been "slaughtered," and "driven out of the country." When U.S. troops were literally within blocks of his Baghdad location, Sahaf confidently told reporters that American troops were not within 100 miles of Baghdad. Belief in Sahaf's assurances and boasts about the power of the Iraqi army (once the third largest ground force in the world) engendered shock and surprise among some viewers of Al-Jazeera and other Arab news outlets when the Iraqi government abruptly collapsed soon afterward.
Although coalition forces ultimately managed a quick and decisive military victory, the effects of the differing perspectives in news coverage may take years to fully determine.
Given the demanding pace of round-the-clock media coverage, operational pauses for rest or logistical resupply by coalition forces often led to open speculation as to whether coalition forces were "bogged down." Delays caused by duststorms, and deaths caused by suicide bombers attacking checkpoints caused some commentators to openly speculate that America was getting involved in "another Vietnam-like quagmire" or that the war could stretch on for many months, perhaps years.
The use of fewer troops than used in the Gulf War also drew criticism. The war plan was a test of a new policy of smaller force deployments. Advocates of the lighter force concept argued that mobility, precision weapons, and real-time integration of intelligence information acted as "force multipliers." Pentagon or war plan critics contended that the U.S. had not deployed adequate ground troops to ensure maximum safety for both military personnel and Iraqi civilian populations.
Despite criticisms, within three weeks, coalition forces toppled the Hussein regime. The speed of attack also allowed coalition forces to accomplish major goals. Iraqi command and control was virtually eliminated within hours of the start of military operations. The Iraqis could offer little organized resistance. U.S., British, and Australian forces secured both southern, and then northern, oil fields before Hussein's forces could set significant fires or cause significant environmental damage as they did during the Gulf war. The Iraqi air force was totally destroyed or immobilized and launched no sorties against coalition forces. In the north, a major terrorist facility was overrun and destroyed.
In a battle on April 2, army and marine troops routed the elite Iraqi Republican Guard units about 20 miles of south of Baghdad and a two-pronged assault on the capital began. On April 4, U.S. troops seized Baghdad's main airport located just 10 miles from the center of the city.
After brief preliminary incursions, on April 9, U.S. forces advanced into central Baghdad and Saddam Hussein's government was symbolically toppled. Carried live by global television networks, Iraqis celebrating liberation—with the technical assistance of U.S. troops—pulled down a large statue of Saddam Hussein located in central Baghdad. Kurdish fighters and U.S forces secured the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul during the next three days.
On April 15, U.S. marines captured Tikrit, the ancestral home of Saddam Hussein. After an intense bombardment, U.S. forces encountered only sporadic resistance as they captured what was thought to be Hussein's last military stronghold. Pentagon officials stated that the main military fight in Iraq was finished.
The speed of the American advance and coalition determination not to be seen as oppressive occupying powers unfortunately resulted in a lack of policing activities and resultant looting. Iraqi looters and criminals from other countries stole freely and openly, in some cases taking valuable artifacts and cultural treasures. The looting, and perceived slowness in restoration of water and electricity, sparked anti-American protests in newly liberated Iraq. Religious fundamentalists also took the opportunity afforded by liberation to begin to organize anti-Western protests.
Nine weeks after the start of military action against Iraq, the United Nations Security Council—including France, Russia, and China—overwhelmingly approved a resolution lifting economic sanctions against Iraq and gave its backing to U.S.-led administration by coalition forces until the situation in Iraq stabilized.
The lack of success in finding massive stockpiles of biological or chemical weapons spurred charges that the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies had exaggerated reports of Iraqi capabilities in this area. Even the French government, one of the harshest critics of U.S. war plans, had openly accepted thatlarge stockpiles of chemical and biological agents existed in Iraq prior to the war. Although French intelligence reports disagreed with American and British assessments of ongoing links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin stated that his sources nevertheless confirmed much of the information regarding biological and chemical weapons stockpiles reported by U.S. and U.K. intelligence services. De Villepin, however, dismissed CIA and MI-6 information as common knowledge among Western intelligence services and therefore not a cause for immediate war.
As of May 2003, coalition teams were continuing to explore for sites containing weapons of mass destruction. Although there were many preliminary findings of illegal equipment that might have been used to manufacture such weapons, none had yet withstood careful scientific scrutiny. U.S. officials invited international inspectors to examine specific finds (e.g., suspected mobile biological weapons laboratories.)
UN chief weapons inspector Hans Blix subsequently concluded that Iraq may not have had weapons of mass destruction—or at least not on the scale previously anticipated, and that Saddam Hussein's evasive behavior with inspectors may have resulted from his dictatorial need to control information. U.S. officials openly speculated about the possible diversion of weapons to Syria and accused Syria of harboring deposed Iraqi leaders and of attempting to develop and test chemical weapons. Syria denied the U.S. allegations.
Leading administration officials claimed that inspection efforts would take many months and that the best hope of finding weapons stockpiles would come from the interrogation of captured Iraqi leaders and scientists. Intelligence reports leaked to the press also indicated that there was evidence of massive smuggling of materials (including possible weapons shipments) into Syria. There was also mounting evidence that during the diplomatic infighting prior to the war the French and Russian governments had provided assistance to Iraqi leaders as they attempted to conceal the extent of their support of the Hussein regime. British press reporters discovered documents with Bin Laden's name covered with correction fluid that, if ultimately proved genuine, would provide evidence of formal communications and cooperation between the Hussein regime and al-Qaeda.
Unarguable evidence concerning the brutality of Hussein's regime was provided with the discovery of mass gravesites at Abul Kasib, Basra, Najaf, al-Mahawil, Babylon, Muhammad Sakran, and Kirkuk. Many of the graves contained men, women, and children apparently executed after failed uprisings against Saddam Hussein. South of Baghdad, many graves contained those executed following the attempted Shia rebellion that followed the Gulf War. Northern mass graves contained the remains of political prisoners and Kurds executed during Hussein's policy of ethnic cleansing.
As of May 2003 the whereabouts or fate of Hussein and other top Iraqi leaders remained uncertain. The U.S. abolished the Baath Party and security institutions of Saddam Hussein's former regime. With Iraq occupied and administered by coalition forces, the U.S. removed Iraq from the list of countries not cooperating with the fight against terrorism.
Coalition goals and plans for the postwar stabilization of Iraq asserted that coalition forces would maintain physical civil security, while U.S.-administered government departments regulate infrastructure and aid. Under Coalition guidance, Iraqi citizens and returning expatriates would be encouraged to form a broad-based, multi-ethnic interim Iraqi administration that would eventually become a self-governing Iraqi government recognized by the international community.
█ FURTHER READING:
Gordon, M. "The Test for Rumsfeld: Will Strategy Work?" New York Times. April 1, 2003.
Sanger, D., and F. Barringer. "President Readies U.S. for Prospect of Imminent War." New York Times. March 7, 2003.
Schmitt, E., and T. Shanker. "U.S. Reports Talks Urging Surrender of Elite Troops." New York Times. March 21, 2003.
Schmitt, E. and B. Weintraub. "Pentagon Asserts the Main Fighting Is Finished in Iraq." New York Times. April 15, 2003.
Tyler, Patrick E. "Hussein Statue Is Toppled—Rumsfeld Urges Caution." New York Times. April 10, 2003.
BBC News. Iraq War. Key Maps. < http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/v3_iraq_key_maps/ht l/graves/link1.stm > (May 12, 2003).
Central Intelligence Agency. "Iraq." CIA World Factbook < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/iz.html >(May 25, 2003).
U.S. Department of Defense. Operation Iraqi Freedom Special Report. "President Bush Outlines Progress in Operation Iraqi Freedom." < http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/04/iraq/20030416–9.h ml > (April 16, 2003).