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Questioning Civilian Immunity

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Consider that, at most, 18% of the deaths caused by the 2003 war in Iraq were combatant casualties in spite of the coalition forces' technological supremacy.22 Meanwhile, states continue to trumpet their commitment to protecting civilians from intentional attacks, as the Security Council unanimously did in April 2006, when its members reaffirmed the "responsibility to protect" civilian populations from large-scale attack.23 The divergence between the professed goals of states in adopting international humanitarian law and civilian suffering during modern armed conflicts raises troubling questions about the efficacy of the legal norms protecting civilians.

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