A symbolic vote is expected later this week as lawmakers and Joe Biden try to review and update the legal basis for U.S. military action.
The U.S. House of Representatives will vote later this week to revoke the war authorization Congress gave to former President George W Bush in 2002 to allow the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. .
The motion to repeal the Authorization to use military force (AUMF) in Iraq, which will arrive for the first time with the support of President Joe Biden, is expected to be welcomed in the House on Thursday, CNN reported.
The Biden administration said Monday 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.” .
But the upcoming vote is seen as a start to a broader debate in the U.S. Congress on reviewing and re-establishing the U.S. legal basis for the deployment of military forces in Iraq and elsewhere where critics of Congress call them “wars forever.”
“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.” the White House said in a statement Monday in favor of revoking the House.
However, without a replacement permit that addresses the current circumstances in Iraq, repealing U.S. law faces skepticism from Senate lawmakers, who must also agree that the U.S. resolution Chamber enters into force.
“The 2002 AUMF dealt largely with Saddam Hussein, it is also clearly used to deal with terrorist threats in Iraq and coming from Iraq,” Rep. Michael McCaul said.
“Unless we get news from our military that the 2002 AUMF no longer serves to protect Americans, we shouldn’t revoke it before replacing it,” said McCaul, a Republican.
The issue came to light most recently with assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by U.S. forces on Iraqi soil, an act that many members of Congress considered unjustified and reckless. The Trump administration later cited the authorization of the 2002 Iraq war as the legal justification for Soleimani’s success.
U.S. and NATO troops invaded Afghanistan after al-Qaeda attacks on September 11, 2001, and the former Bush administration pushed for and obtained congressional permission to invade Iraq in a preventive war to overthrow Saddam Hussein and prevent Iraq from obtaining weapons of mass destruction.
The Bush administration’s pretext for invading Iraq was later proven based on false claims, and former President Barack Obama agreed to withdraw most U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011.
Some U.S. forces continue in Iraq after U.S.-led campaigns to push back the ISIL (ISIS) group (ISIS) and contain the civil war in Syria. U.S. forces have continued to clash with Iran-backed militias in Iraq.
“There are Iran-sponsored terrorist groups active today in Iraq that threaten our diplomats, our soldiers and our citizens,” McCaul said.
Defense Department Attorneys at previous Trump administration he had strongly opposed an independent repeal of the 2002 AUMF in Iraq because it would remove authority for U.S. military action against militia groups.
Still, there is widespread support among Democrats in Congress for revoking Iraq’s 2002 war authorization, as well as a previous 2001 authorization approved by Congress related to al-Qaeda and Afghanistan.
Biden has launched plans to withdraw American and Allied foreign troops of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, 20th anniversary of al-Qaeda attacks.
Over the years, the 2001 and 2002 AMUFs have been used by successive presidents to justify a number of military actions, including drone attacks in Yemen, which in some cases have little to do with the original conflicts that Congress intended to address.
“The idea that they haven’t been repealed or finished makes no sense,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, one of the top Democrats.
“It’s just that we haven’t done our due diligence or we’re not watching these things closely,” McGovern said Monday.