US Lawmakers Seek to End 'Forever War' Authorizations

Image copyright: Reuters

The Facts

  • A bipartisan group of six US lawmakers — Senators Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Representatives Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Chip Roy (R-Texas), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) – has introduced legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 "Authorizations for the Use of Military Force."

  • The repeal would end both the Iraq and Gulf Wars, and revoke the president’s unilateral authority to deploy troops. Congress would reassert its authority over declaring war if the action is approved.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Constitutionally, the argument against these Authorizations is clear as day: Congress is the sole governmental body with the power to declare war. Since the illegal authorization to fight the so-called "War on Terror" 20 years ago, nearly a million people have been killed and more than $21T has been spent, all because of executive branch-led ventures. It's well past time to repeal these laws.

Pro-establishment narrative

These Authorizations are legal and necessary in the counter-terrorism era of warfare we live in today. The US faces threats from state and non-state actors — including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group — which is why the president and the Pentagon need authority and flexibility. Congress can be briefed by the executive branch, but the president can’t wait around for a painstaking declaration of war process.

Establishment split



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