WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nearly 20 years ago, the U.S. began the Iraq invasion. Recently the Senate took a step forward to repeal the congressional authorization that justified the war.
It’s known as the AUMF (the authorization for use of military force). The Senate is looking to repeal the AUMF that gave George W. Bush the go-ahead for the 2003 Iraq invasion. It also would repeal the AUMF that authorized the first Gulf War to expel Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are looking to claw back congressional powers over military strikes and deployments. Some argue that the war authorizations are no longer necessary and could be abused by future administrations if they are left on the books.
“And they’re really worried that any president could send troops abroad and we could get dug into these deep wars that we were in for a long time,” said Todd Belt, the George Washington University Director of Political Management.
Repealing the Iraq AUMF does not impact the 2001 AUMF which approved following the September 11th attacks. That 2001 AUMF still gives the president broad legal authority to conduct counterterrorism operations around the world. If this repeal makes it out of congress, the president has indicated he will sign it into law.