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Trump may slap sanctions on ICC for scrutiny on Afghan war crimes

AT Monitoring Desk-Trump administration has threatened to impose sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, if the panel persisted in probing into alleged war crimes committed by American troops in Afghanistan.

Ultra-hawk National Security adviser John Bolton is set to announce on Monday the US will “fight back” if the ICC proceeds with an investigation into alleged violations committed by US service members and intelligence staff during the war in Afghanistan.

According to Reuters, Bolton has said that the United States will use any means necessary to protect its citizens and those of its allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court.

The aggressive stance pursued by the US includes banning judges and prosecutors from entering the country, slapping sanctions on any funds they have in the US financial system and prosecute them in the American court system.

“We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us,” Bolton’s draft speech says.

Washington also wants to negotiate deals so that other nations cannot force Americans to surrender to the court.

The US did not ratify the Rome Treaty which established the Hague court in 2002, although President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama did make attempts to cooperate with the institution.

“We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the court’s sweeping powers, including to ensure that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute,” Bolton will tell the conservative Federalist Society.

The grinding conflict in Afghanistan is Washington’s longest running war, that began with the US-led invasion 17 years ago that ousted the Taliban from power.

To date, an estimated total of 110,000 Afghans have died in the conflict.

Although President Trump repeatedly indicated before he was president that he opposed the war and wanted to end it, he has instructed US military forces to take more aggressive action.

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