Leadership: March 8, 2002


The Bush Administration is pushing to shut down the UN war crimes tribunals after the current round of high-profile leaders are convicted and turn hundreds of lower-level suspects over to national legal systems. Under the Bush Administration view, any international court system is likely to be politicized, expensive, inefficient, and more concerned with process than result. The US wants to see the national court systems of Bosnia, Serbia, and Rwanda cleaned up, strengthened, and given new independence and legitimacy. Europeans and the UN disagree, wanting to turn the UN tribunals into a permanent war crimes court. The Pentagon has considered this a dangerous move, expressing concerns that US pilots and commanders could be prosecuted for every precision-guided weapon that malfunctions and lands in the wrong place.--Stephen V Cole


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