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After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush began calling for a “regime change” in Iraq, describing the nation as part of an “axis of evil. On Sept. 12, 2002, Bush addressed the UN, challenging the organization to swiftly enforce its own resolutions against Iraq, or else the U.S. would act on its own.
In February, a U.S. Senate report on progress in Iraq indicated that, despite the U.S. spending $16 billion on reconstruction, every major area of Iraq's infrastructure was below prewar levels.