Some say hindsight is 20/20 – so let’s take a step back and look at news investigations of the Iraq War a decade after it began. What lessons can we take from these in-depth looks at one of the most controversial wars in the modern age?

Ten years ago this week, the U.S. invaded Iraq. What resulted was a war that killed thousands of American and Iraqi soldiers while forever altering the lives of millions of Iraqi civilians.

The consequences of the Iraq War are now piling up: a country divided along sectarian lines, a new authoritarian leadership and an entire region destabilized. The Guardian spoke to some of the war’s key players about the legacy of the conflict.

The human toll includes tens of thousands dead and millions of displaced people. The 2010 documentary “Iraq’s Secret War Files” uses unfiltered U.S. military reports to uncover the scope of civilian casualties during the seven years of strife.

Drawing on more than 400,000 WikiLeaks documents – the biggest leak of official documents in history – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism examines the disparity between what U.S. authorities said about the war in public and what classified reports reveal actually was occurring on the ground.

Another investigation by The Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired U.S. Col. James Steele played a key role in training U.S.-funded police who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq.

The war officially ended with the last U.S. troops withdrawing from combat in December 2011. But fighting among the Iraqi insurgency and the newly formed government continues.
According to Iraq Body Count, 4,573 civilian fatalities from violence were recorded in 2012.

Iraq’s story is far from over. Stay tuned to The I Files, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, as we continue to bring you the most in-depth investigations into global issues and conflicts.

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Julia B. Chan worked at The Center for Investigative Reporting until June, 2017. Julia B. Chan is a producer and the digital editor for Reveal's national public radio program. She’s the voice of Reveal online and manages the production and curation of digital story assets that are sent to more than 200 stations across the country. Previously, Chan helped The Center for Investigative Reporting launch YouTube’s first investigative news channel, The I Files, and led engagement strategies – online and off – for multimedia projects. She oversaw communications, worked to better connect CIR’s work with a bigger audience and developed creative content and collaborations to garner conversation and impact.

Before joining CIR, Chan worked as a Web editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. She managed the newspaper’s digital strategy and orchestrated its first foray into social media and online engagement. A rare San Francisco native, she studied broadcasting at San Francisco State University, focusing on audio production and recording. Chan is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.