The International Criminal Court, also known as the ICC, is an international organization that reviews war crimes and prosecutes war criminals. Its headquarters is located in The Hague, Netherlands. Distinct from the International Court of Justice (ICJ), an umbrella of the United Nations, the ICC works closely with both organizations.
The first mentions of international tribunals came post World War One, but the trials were formally enacted in the aftermath of World War Two, known as the Nuremberg Trials. On July 17th, 1998, 120 nations formalized the Rome Statute to create the International Criminal Court.
Investigating war crimes worldwide in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, the ICC has set a standard to hold all nations accountable for war crimes—but some major players continue to hold out. The United States has not complied with the ICC, especially regarding controversial military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. With Washington attempting to back Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe from Russian genocidal actions, now is the time to mend its policies with the ICC and comply with their standards.
America’s Stance with the ICC
The United States has a non-working relationship with the International Criminal Court. America is not a member of the Rome Statute, and policies towards the ICC have been tense.
In 2018, Washington threatened to enact sanctions on judges at The Hague for investigating US war crimes in Afghanistan. Washington has argued that the court holds a ‘bias’ against the country and is an “existential threat.”
Decades of conflict, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with questionable drone strikes worldwide, show that perpetual warfare is an even more significant threat to the nation.