History of the Convention in the U.S.

The U.S. did not ratify the Convention when it was drafted in 1954 because of U.S. Department of Defense concerns that the USSR might gain an advantage by declaring certain military properties as having historic significance.

After the Cold War the DoD dropped its objections, stating that it would abide by the spirit of the Convention even though it was not yet ratified. President Bill Clinton recommended the Hague Convention to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1999, where it has languished ever since.

See Treaty Doc. 106-1 January 6, 1999 at:

In order restore international confidence and good faith in the efforts of the United States to protect cultural property in times of armed conflict, Congress should immediately take action to ratify the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and abide by its requirements.