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.

President Biden in the Oval Office (President Biden).
President Biden in the Oval Office (President Biden).

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.

The fog of war can bring out the worst in man, and US forces are no exception to this. Nevertheless, decades of covering up war crimes have enacted a negative perception of the US government on the international stage.

America Fails to Help Ukraine Due to Its Policies with the ICC

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is Europe’s most significant land war since World War Two. Filled with many war crimes, including the carpet bombing of cities and wide-scale massacres, the International Criminal Court has been extremely busy documenting cases. One of these included the indictment of Russian President Vladimir Putin for the deportation and abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children.

The Pentagon is blocking the White House from sharing evidence and intelligence gathered on Russian war crimes and criminals with the ICC. This could have detrimental effects on the post-war tribunal and US foreign policy.
Ukraine, which has relied upon significant diplomatic and military support from the United States, will need this data forwarded to The Hague to continue pushing for military tribunals. The Pentagon blocking data sharing on evidence with a growing partner indirectly sends a message that the nation is not severe with prosecuting war criminals and abiding by international law.