Senate will vote on revoking Iraq war authorization ‘this year’

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Wednesday that he will bring up a resolution sometime in the coming months to revoke the 2002 authorization for the use of military force in Iraq.

Schumer cited former President Donald Trump’s use of the AUMF to take out top Iraqi military commander Qassem Soleimani, which he said was carried out “without transparency, without proper notification to Congress, and without a clear strategy.”

Schumer said the authorization was outdated and unneeded.

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“The Iraq war has been over for nearly a decade, and authorization passed in 2002 is no longer necessary in 2021,” the New York Democrat said in a Wednesday morning Senate floor speech.

It’s the first time Schumer has declared he’ll back a repeal of the AUMF, but support for such a move has been building in Congress for many years.

Schumer’s announcement comes one day before the House is scheduled to vote on a similar bill to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF.

It’s expected to pass with at least some bipartisan support.

A Senate committee this week will advance a similar measure that pairs repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF with a repeal of 1991 war powers that authorized the military to invade Iraq in defense of neighboring Kuwait.

The 2002 AUMF repeal has passed the House more than once in years past. But it now stands a much greater chance of success in part because the Senate is also under the control of Democrats and President Joe Biden has said he wants to work with Congress to rewrite the 2002 AUMF. There was also one passed in 2001.

It’s also picked up more Republican support, although many GOP lawmakers are wary of revoking it out of fear it will prevent the military from fighting terrorism in the region.

The legislation would not repeal the 2001 AUMF, which provided President George W. Bush the authority to launch military operations in Afghanistan in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Proponents of the 2002 AUMF repeal say the 2001 resolution would provide ample authority the military may need to take action against terrorist groups if needed.

Schumer, in his floor speech, pledged that the United States would not “abandon” the Iraqis and their fight against terrorism but that the war authorization must be revoked to prevent a president from following in the footsteps of Trump.

“There is no good reason to allow this legal authority to persist in case another reckless commander in chief tries the same trick in the future,” Schumer said.

Trump at the time described Soleimani as "the No. 1 terrorist anywhere in the world,” and the Iraqi military chief had been sanctioned by both the United Nations and the European Union.

The U.S. military killed Soleimani in a drone strike on Jan. 3, 2020, at Baghdad International Airport.

Soleimani headed the Quds Force, which the U.S. designated as a terrorist group.

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In a statement at the time of the strike, the Defense Department said it carried out the killing to deter future Iranian attacks.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region,” a State Department statement said. “General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months — including the attack on December 27th — culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

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Tags: News, Congress, Chuck Schumer, Qassem Soleimani, Iraq War, National Security, Foreign Policy

Original Author: Susan Ferrechio

Original Location: Senate will vote on revoking Iraq war authorization ‘this year’

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