US to Deny Visas to ICC Personnel Investigating US War Crimes in Afghanistan

Pompeo: Court poses threat to US national sovereignty

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Friday that the US has imposed visa restrictions on a number of officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of ongoing inquiries into war crimes committed by the US in the occupation of Afghanistan.

The ICC has not formally launched an investigation, but has been soliciting information of possible crimes against humanity committed in Afghanistan. They have reported getting about 700 submissions from victims so far.

The US government doesn’t favor the ICC in the best of times, and Pompeo says the effort to look into US war crimes amounts to a threat to “national sovereignty.” He further threatened economic sanctions if an investigation grows.

The ICC is intended to investigate crimes against humanity when the government in question is unable or unwilling to do so. The US government would clearly be able to investigate such violations in Afghanistan, but whether or not they’ve proven willing to do so is hotly debated, based on how often such allegations are just quietly dismissed in internal investigations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of