Pompeo denounces probe of possible U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan

Pompeo denounces probe of possible U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced a decision by the International Criminal Court to allow an investigation of U.S. personnel for war crimes in Afghanistan just days after American officials signed a peace deal with the Taliban paving the way for a full withdrawal of troops.

In a Thursday statement, Pompeo called the timing of the ruling a "breathtaking action."

"It is all the more reckless for this ruling to come just days after the United States signed a historic peace deal on Afghanistan — the best chance for peace in a generation," Pompeo said, noting the Afghan government asked the ICC not to take this step.

The ICC is looking into potential war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban, Afghan forces and CIA personnel. The investigation marks the first time the court's prosecutor has been authorized to investigate U.S. forces.

Pompeo noted the United States is not "a party" to the ICC and indicated Washington will continue its refusal to cooperate with the court.

"This is yet another reminder of what happens when multilateral bodies lack oversight and responsible leadership and become instead a vehicle for political vendettas," Pompeo said. "The ICC has today stumbled into a sorry affirmation of every denunciation made by its harshest critics over the past three decades."

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