After a brief period of normalisation of ties between the International Criminal Court and Washington during the administration of US President Barack Obama, relations between the two entities have deteriorated, as the Trump administration strongly denies the ICC’s authority over the US and its ally Israel.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated that the US will go to great lengths to impede attempts by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Americans and Israelis on two separate criminal cases related to the seventeen-year US War in Afghanistan and Israeli actions on the territory of the West Bank.
Pompeo added that the Trump administration would address the matter in the near future, and promised US efforts to stop the ICC trials.
The US Secretary of State, a Trump appointee, suggested that Israel and the US never ratified the establishing document of the ICC, the Rome Statute, and thus they and their citizens are not subject to ICC prosecution.
While technically Pompeo is correct, the ICC could start a probe into allegations about war crimes committed during the war in Afghanistan due to the country being a member of the global body. The case received a green light on 5 March 2020 after a long wait. The ICC cannot prosecute American soldiers as long as they remain citizens of a state that has not ratified the Rome Statute, unless the UN Security Council refers this case to the international tribunal.