Five years before the U.S. invasion into Iraq spelled the end of Saddam Hussein, Australia was prepared to invade with support from the UN or U.S. Cabinet documents from 1998 show Prime Minister John Howard offering his support to U.S. President Bill Clinton, as well as the prime ministers to Canada and New Zealand. Curbing Iraq’s ability to produce weapons of mass destruction had become a national interest. Australia offered to provide Boeing 707s and medical support troops to fill in any gaps. When Australian special forces deployed to the Middle East in 2003 to help with the U.S.-led invasion, however, they did not find the weapons of mass destruction that were claimed to be harboured by the regime of Saddam Hussein.