Last summer, the International Criminal Court amended the Rome Statute to formally define the crime of aggression. In general, the crime of aggression is the the planning, preparation, initiation, or execution, by a person in position to effectively exercise control over or to direct the political or military action of a State, of an act of aggression, which by its character, gravity and scale, constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations. The definition creates a whole host of problems in the face of the modern paradigm of international conflict, not the least of which is the prohibition on a country utilizing preventive war as a measure of self-defense. Simply put, preventive war is when a nation uses force BEFORE it has actually been attacked in order to protect itself from an imminent threat to its security. According to the definition in the Rome Statute, this would amount to aggression. Preventive warfare, however, is little different in concept than humanitarian intervention. As most are well aware, humanitarian intervention is when one nation initiates military action against another in order to protect the native population from atrocities. The primary different between preventive war and humanitarian intervention is that the nation taking military action does so to protect its own population with preventive war, and humanitarian intervention is done to protect another nation’s population. Humanitarian intervention is generally accepted as a legitimate use of force, however preventive war is looked upon harshly. Isn’t this hypocritical? Should the ICC consider this when applying the definition of aggression and prosecute both actions? Neither?