One month after the International Criminal Court (ICC) officially came into existence on July 1, 2002, the President signed the American Servicemembers' Protection Act (ASPA), which limits U.S. government support and assistance to the ICC; curtails certain military assistance to many countries that have ratified the Rome Statute establishing the ICC; regulates U.S. participation in United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping missions commenced after July 1, 2003; and, most controversially among European allies, authorises the President to use "all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release" of certain U.S. and allied persons who may be detained or tried by the ICC. The provision, withholding military assistance under the programs for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) from certain States Parties to the Rome Statute, came into effect on July 1, 2003. The 109th Congress reauthorised the Nethercutt Amendment as part of the FY2006 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 3057/P.L. 109-102). Unless waived by the President, it bars Economic Support Funds (ESF) assistance to countries that have not agreed to protect U.S. citizens from being turned over to the ICC for prosecution.
H.R. 5522, as passed by the House of Representatives, would continue the ESF restriction for FY2007. The Senate passed a measure as part of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5122, S. 2766) that would modify ASPA to end the ban on IMET assistance. The ICC is the first permanent world court with nearly universal jurisdiction to try individuals accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and possibly aggression. While most U.S. allies support the ICC, the Bush Administration firmly opposes it and has renounced any U.S. obligations under the treaty. After the Bush Administration threatened to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution to extend the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia on the ground that it did not contain sufficient guarantees that U.S. participants would be immune to prosecution by the ICC, the Security Council adopted a resolution that would defer for one year any prosecution of participants in missions established or authorised by