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Application of the Neutrality Act to Official Government Activities

Date of Issuance:

Section 5 of the Neutrality Act, 18 U.S.C. § 960, forbids preparation for, or participation in, military expeditions against a foreign state with which the United States is at peace. This provision is intended solely to prohibit persons acting in a private capacity from taking actions that might interfere with the foreign policy and relations of the United States. It does not proscribe activities conducted by Government officials acting within the course and scope of their duties as officers of the United States.

Updated July 9, 2014