Sunday, October 01, 2006

Change in ICC policy

I find very little to feel good about in the recently passed defense bill. One small provision, however, does mark a change in U.S. policy toward Latin America. The U.S. will no longer punish countries that don’t sign waivers for the International Criminal Court by denying them military training. I’ve blogged about this before. Apparently there are still some punishments in place, such as denying financing for defense purposes and some USAID programs. It remains to be seen whether Latin American leaders resent those measures as much.

This does not mean I feel great about U.S. military training. In fact, a few years ago I published an article critical of it. But this policy was worse, because democratically elected Latin American leaders viewed it (correctly) as blackmail. As such, it was a prime example of clueless policy making that created unnecessary tension. This particular policy was especially ridiculous because the U.S. military (specifically Southcom) opposed it, even though it was intended to protect soldiers.


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