Forward Operating Base Abu Ghraib is one of the first military bases established by the United States of America in Iraq. The base is located in Abu Ghraib, in the Anbar province. It is only 32 km away from the Baghdad downtown and just 15 km from the international airport of the Iraqi capital. It is in the immediate proximity of Camp Victory too, another base that is run by the United States of America. This forward operating base didn’t have a very long life. Although it had an amazing start, its ascension quickly drew to an end in 2006.
Soon after the United States of America decided to invade Iraq and to capture Saddam Hussein, a comprehensive plan came to an end with Kuwait as the main entrance in the country. As the American forces were quickly advancing through the foreign lands looking for the old leader of Iraq, they established multiple military installations and a lot of prisons. The resistance was huge, especially since the general objectives of this mission were not clearly defined. For a lot of people and especially for the Iraqi insurgents, the invasion was only targeting the oil and the petrochemical resources.
During the Iraqi invasion and its life as an active camp, the local prison at FOB Abu Ghraib hosted thousands of prisoners of war. Its peak came in 2004, when more than 7,000 insurgents and opponents were hosted on site. Aside from the general fighters, some high ranked Iraqi personalities got behind the gates of the prison as well. As long as someone was suspected to fight against the invasion, the prison quickly became a certain and final destination.
Saddam Hussein was executed in December, 2006, after a long trial. Before his execution, FOB Abu Ghraib lived to see its final moments. The press got in the possession of some footage presenting a lot of unacceptable acts of sodomy, rape, sexual, psychical and physical abuses or torture. All these acts were performed by the American troops on dozens of Iraqi prisoners who had no real chance to defend themselves. The images were shocking, but only for the civilian audience. It seems that by the time they were revealed to the whole world, the US Army Criminal Investigation Command was already aware of what was happening and working on this case. All the acts were performed by troops in the 372-nd Military Police Company along with a few other American agencies. The result of these accusations came as a harsh hit for the international laws, as well as the Iraqi population who was directly affected. Nothing happened. It was a gross result and one of the multitude of black spots on the United States of America.
There were more than twenty units that came and left FOB Abu Ghraib over the years. The list might have been larger if the 372-nd Military Police Company didn’t abuse the Iraqi prisoners of war. Some of the other names include the 142-nd Field Artillery Regiment, the 1-st Battalion 119-th Field Artillery, the 3-rd Battalion 1-st Marines and the 848-th Forward Surgical Team.