“I have a message to many close allies around the world,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said as he announced the United States’ executive order authorizing visa bans and asset freezes on ICC officials and anyone cooperating with the body on a probe into possible war crimes committed during the Afghan war. Pompeo suggested military personnel who have served honorably in Afghanistan “taking down terrorists” could be vacationing in Europe with their families and suddenly be thrown behind bars “all on the initiative of some prosecutor in the Netherlands.”
The Hague-based ICC, to which the US does not belong but Afghanistan does, is investigating alleged war crimes committed largely by the Taliban and Afghan national security forces, but American personnel are accused of illegally abusing people held in secret “black sites” in Lithuania, Poland and Romania, as well as in Afghanistan.
“Your people could be next,” Pompeo warned allies, “especially those from NATO countries who fought terrorism in Afghanistan right alongside of us.”
Europe ‘disturbed’ and dismayed
Body blow or bluff?
Implications for impunity
EU chance to chide Pompeo