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United States No Longer Conditioning Foreign Aid on ICC Non-Participation

By Matthew Yglesias  

"United States No Longer Conditioning Foreign Aid on ICC Non-Participation"

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Mark Goldberg brings us some very welcome news from the recently signed omnibus appropriations bill, the odious Nethercutt Amendment policy has been reversed. What’s the Nethercut Amendment? Well of course as is well known the Bush administration didn’t much care for the International Criminal Court. It wasn’t initially obvious, however, exactly how opposed to it they were. But not only did they refuse to participate in the ICC, they backed an amendment by Rep George Nethercutt that made it so that a country could only get foreign aid if it agreed to sign an agreement immunizing Americans against ICC prosecution. This was back in 2004, before it was clear that the key policymakers were so committed to this because they were actually in the midst of committing war crimes.

At any rate, this put a lot of countries in a tough spot. As Mark says:

A number of America’s allies declined to enter into these side agreements because they believed their obligations to the ICC prevented them from doing so. They were punished accordingly. Meanwhile, the administration, too, had chose between its opposition to the court and other — arguably more important — diplomatic and foreign policy priorities.

And now the policy is dead. And I, for one, won’t be missing it.

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