Small Wars and the Law: Options for Prosecuting the Insurgents in Iraq

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This Article contrasts the various bodies of law and venues under which Iraqi insurgents could be prosecuted. The ambiguous nature of an insurgency as a legal concept complicates efforts to apply traditional judicial methods. Insurgencies straddle several different bodies of law; as a limited conflict between a non-state actor and an occupying power, they are something less than a war but something more than criminal conduct. As a result, none of the options for prosecution is well suited to the task, and each has significant political or practical shortcomings.