In mid-April, a panel of judges at the International Criminal Court rejected Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s request to open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity that may have been committed during the long U.S. war in Afghanistan. Ahead of the decision, the Trump administration had waged an aggressive campaign against the case, which threatened to reveal atrocities committed by U.S. forces, including American troops and Central Intelligence Agency officials.
Though the ICC judges acknowledged that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed in Afghanistan, they determined that a successful investigation was not feasible. Essentially, they acknowledged that ongoing U.S. intransigence was likely to derail the investigation.
Following the collapse of two high-profile cases in less than a year, the ICC was already contending with concerns about its competence. Now it will be dogged by questions of its relevance.