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David Davenport: The U.S. Is Right to Oppose an ICC Investigation in Afghanistan


This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

National security advisor John Bolton caused a stir by announcing that the U.S. would actively oppose an investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court into criminal acts by Americans in Afghanistan.  Bolton said sanctions against members of the Court might be applied.

The fact is that, though the ICC was formed as a court, it is primarily a political body. Its independent prosecutor—a kind of Ken Starr or Robert Mueller with international reach—regularly makes political decisions about prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court makes an extraordinary claim of jurisdiction over citizens of nations such as the U.S. that do not join the court.

American service members are asked to keep the peace around the world and, besides risking harm and death, they do not need to risk criminal prosecution by a political court.

Bolton’s move ought to be applauded.