In war, there is no easy victory. When troops invaded Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime, most people expected an easy victory. Instead, the gamble we took was a grave mistake, and its ramifications continue to reverberate through the lives of millions, in Iraq and the West. As we gain more distance from those events, it can be argued that many of the issues facing us today – the rise of Islamic State, increased Islamic terrorism, intensified violence in the Middle East, mass migration and more – can be traced back to the decision to invade Iraq. Accompanying a BBC series, this work collects first-hand testimonies from those who lived through the horrors of the invasion and whose actions were dictated by such extreme circumstances.