Iraq War anniversary: Repeal military force authorization, limit presidential war powers

Iraq war turn 20Saddam Hussein is long gone, but thousands of US soldiers stay in iraq — and the legal authorities that support the war remain in the books.

President Biden Declared Our nation is no longer at war, but it takes more than a speech to end U.S. hostilities in the Middle East. Congress must reform its legal landscape to prevent the kind of military adventurism that has characterized the last two decades.

The urgency of this task was made clear by the Trump administration in 2020. Misuse of the Iraq War Authorization for Use of Military Forces (“AUMF”) Attack and kill Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani. For a moment the country held its breath and wondered if it had. enter a new war with Iran.meeting rushed past A war powers resolution that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from hostilities with Iran and rejects President Trump’s interpretation of the AUMF. Rejected legislation.

These events galvanized congressional efforts to abolish the Iraq War AUMF. Abolishing the AUMF would remove the veneer of congressional approval of hostilities in Iraq and would mark congressional disapproval of aggressive hostilities with Iran. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum are currently leading legislation to repeal the AUMF. House, Rep. Barbara Lee (California Democrat) joined forces with Rep. Chip Roy (Texas Republican).of SenateSenators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) to replace Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) Prioritize deprecation.

This ongoing effort will inspire bipartisanship and, if successful, would be an important step towards ending hostilities in Iraq. But that’s not enough.

When the Bush administration invaded Iraq, it relied on what President Bush claimed to be his inherent “commander-in-chief authority” at least as much as it relied on the Iraq War AUMF.In announcing the invasion, President Bush Said He acted “in accordance” with his constitutional authority and was only “consistent” with the statutes of Congress.

The claims were impressive. The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power to declare war. It also gives Congress the power to create and regulate the military. The constitution gives the president specific powers,repel a sudden attackThere is nothing in its text or design to suggest that the President may unilaterally initiate hostilities with respect to U.S. territory and persons.

But the Bush administration’s broad interpretation of constitutional powers was not unusual. Presidents Obama, Trump, and Biden have similarly violated Congress’ war powers. President Obama has exercised his constitutional powers, not the AUMF, original base For hostilities against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. President Trump listed his constitutional powers in addition to his AUMF for the Iraq War: legal basis for the 2020 strike against General Soleimani. And President Biden has argued that congressional approval is not required for approval of his administration. retaliation hostilities Against Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria, he claims to be within his powers to protect U.S. forces and their foreign partners.

In fact, there are ways in which the Biden administration has a more liberal interpretation of presidential powers than the Bush administration. Since 2003, successive administrations have expanded and implemented controversial theories about when a president can use force without congressional approval.

Presidents Obama and Trump have expanded the “national interest theory.” Doctrine Created by the Executive Branch This allows the president to use force without resorting to all-out war to defend supposed national interests. Their administration interpreted the doctrine of allowing them to intervene in Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Libya; of Iraq After declaring the end of the war in Iraq.and Syria All without parliamentary authorization after Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons. The Biden administration inherited these interpretations.

President Biden himself has overseen a significant increase in the use of “collective self-defense.” This is a doctrine created by another executive branch where the president may protect foreign armed forces.the right of collective self-defense currently cited The basis for US hostilities in Somalia was the “defense” of the Somali National Army against “offensive operations” against al-Shabaab. Collective self-defense rights are further used to justify hostilities against Iran-backed Iraqi and Syrian militias.

To end an era of endless wars, Congress must resist these overly broad interpretations of presidential powers.

It rejects national interests and the doctrine of collective self-defense, calls for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from unauthorized hostilities, and passes resolutions cutting off funding for war that Congress has not expressly authorized. I mean

It also means strengthening the War Powers Resolution — a 1973 law passed to prevent presidential wars — through bipartisan legislation like the National Security Powers Act.

20 Years Later, Former Supporter of Iraq War admit The invasion was a tragic mistake. But without efforts to abolish the Iraq War AUMF and restore Congress’ constitutional war powers, US hostilities in Iraq and its neighbors will continue.

Catherine Yong Ebright He is an attorney in the Freedom and National Security Program at NYU Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. She is the author of a recent report.Covert Warfare: How the US Uses Partnerships and Proxy Forces to Wage War Under the Radar

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