Includes bibliographical references (pages 129-136).
The long, hot summer of 2003 drew to a close for the Marine Corps forces remaining in Iraq. The brief offensive of March-April had become an unplanned occupation and peacekeeping campaign. Lieutenant General James T. Conway's I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) staff had announced the transition to "Post-hostility Operations" on 15 April, and the redeployment to a new operating area to the south of Baghdad ensued. The scope of Operation Iraqi Freedom shifted into security and stability operations, facilitating humanitarian assistance and restoring civilian rule. Furthermore, the Marine Corps presence in Iraq loomed more temporary than ever with the identification of follow-on military contingents of the loose Coalition organized by the United States and United Nations that would take over these duties upon their arrival in Iraq.