The House of Representatives votes to revoke authorization for the 2002 Iraq war, as President Biden supports a review of the U.S. stance.
The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the 2002 U.S. declaration of war against Iraq, a law used by former President Donald Trump to justify the assassination of Iranians. General Qassem Soleimani.
Thursday’s action, which will take place with a bipartisan vote of 268 to 161, must be approved by the Senate and will speed up the congressional reassessment of U.S. military stance in the Middle East The support of President Joe Biden.
He Authorization to use military force (AUMF) had been granted to former President George W Bush in 2002, which allowed for the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Nearly 20 years later, the law remains in force and has been used by successive presidents to justify a series of U.S. military attacks in the region, including the one ordered by Trump that killed Soleimani outside Baghdad airport in January. of 2020. Many members of Congress saw The Trump Order as unjustified and reckless.
“The Iraq war is over for almost a decade. Authorization approved in 2002 is no longer needed in 2021, ”Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday.
Laying the groundwork for a future Senate vote to repeal the 2002 AUMF, Schumer said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will study a bill next week that would also repeal a 1991 Congressional authorization for the first United States Gulf War.
The Biden administration said this week that the U.S. “has no ongoing military activities that depend solely on the 2002 AUMF as a national legal basis” and that its repeal “would likely have minimal impact on current military operations.” “.
“The president is committed to working with Congress to ensure that obsolete authorizations for the use of military force are replaced by an appropriate narrow and specific framework to ensure that we can continue to protect Americans from terrorist threats.” said the White House in a statement.
However, without a replacement permit that addresses current circumstances in Iraq, repealing U.S. law faces skepticism from both Republican and Democratic Senate lawmakers.
Defense Department attorneys at previous Trump administration he had strongly opposed an independent repeal of the 2002 AUMF in Iraq because it would eliminate authority for U.S. military action against militia groups.
However, there is widespread support among Congress Democrats for the revocation of the 2002 war authorization in Iraq, as well as a previous 2001 authorization approved by Congress related to al-Qaeda and Afghanistan. .
“Repealing it now will not alter our current operations against Al Qaeda or ISIL (ISIS), but it will ensure that a future president cannot misuse it for new military actions that Congress never intended,” he said. say Steny Hoyer, majority leader of the House statement after Thursday’s vote.
“Too often, presidents have chosen to reinterpret obsolete AUMFs instead of working with Congress as required by the Constitution,” Hoyer said.
Biden has launched plans to withdraw 3,500 U.S. and allied foreign troops from Afghanistan before September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of al-Qaeda attacks. According to Department of Defense numbers, there are about 3,000 U.S. soldiers still in Iraq, but no specific timetable has been set for their withdrawal.