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With active hostilities in Iraq on the wane, Human Rights Watch is beginning a new phase of our research and advocacy on the conflict - addressing issues of post-war reconstruction, and analyzing how the war itself was conducted so as to draw lessons for the future. Prior to the war, we alerted the media and policymakers to key human rights problems that might arise, including the need to take proactive steps to avoid possible slaughter by Iraqi government or opposition troops, to adopt specified precautions to minimize harm to civilians, to reduce the prospect of ethnic and communal conflict, to address the humanitarian needs of those displaced by the war, and to establish a justice system to bring to justice those responsible for past abuses.

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