This article considers the characterisation of the armed conflict in Iraq under IHL in each of four stages through which the conflict has gone. While the characterisation of the conflict as an international armed conflict (IAC) in its early stages (invasion through occupation) was clear enough, after the end of occupation it could not have been an IAC on a plain reading of the scope of application provisions of the Geneva Conventions, but nor could it have been a non-international armed conflict by the same terms or by any application of logic.
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