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US involved in Iraq longer than in WWII

3 engagements dragged on further

WASHINGTON -- The war in Iraq has now lasted longer than the US involvement in the conflict that President Bush's father fought in, World War II.

As of today, the conflict in Iraq has raged for three years and just over eight months.

Only the Vietnam War (eight years, five months), the Revolutionary War (six years, nine months), and the Civil War (four years) have engaged America longer.

Fighting in Afghanistan, which may or may not be a full-fledged war depending on who is keeping track, has gone on for five years, one month. It continues as the ousted Taliban resurges and the central government is challenged.

Bush says he still is undecided whether to start bringing US troops home from Iraq or add to the 140,000 there now. He is awaiting the conclusions of several top-to-bottom studies.

The Iraq war began March 19, 2003, with the US bombing of Baghdad. On May 1, 2003, Bush famously declared major combat operations over, the pronouncement coming in a speech aboard an aircraft carrier emblazoned with a "Mission Accomplished" banner.

The fighting has dragged on, and most of the 2,800-plus US military deaths have occurred after Bush suggested an end to what he called the Iraq front in the global fight against terrorism.

Politicians in both parties blame the increasingly unpopular war for GOP losses on Capitol Hill in the November elections that handed control of the House and Senate to Democrats.

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