With the support of Biden, Iraq is on the table of American legislators, and an important decision will be made soon

  •  Time: 11/18/2021 09:04:00 
  •  Reading: 3,393 times 
With the support of Biden, Iraq is on the table of American legislators, and an important decision will be made soon

{International: Al Furat News} Members of the US Congress are engaged in a debate about canceling the presidential mandate that gave the green light to the US war in Iraq in 2003, amid the Democrats’ demand to revoke it and opposition among the Republicans. 

The abolition of the war mandate in Iraq may pave the way for the termination of another mandate for Afghanistan, which has been widely criticized for its lack of geographic limitations and the destinations that US forces may target in their military operations.   

The Authorization to Use Military Force Against Iraq Act of 2002, or AUMF 2002, granted former US President George W. Bush the authorization to wage war against Saddam’s regime. 

This authorization was used recently in January 2020, when former US President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, which led to the martyrdom of the commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Qassem Soleimani, the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Authority, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, and a number of others. their companions. 

Some have criticized the use of Iraq’s mandate in the assassination of Soleimani, and that “leaving the law hanging may encourage its misuse by future presidents,” according to the “Axios” website. 

The difference between mandates and a declaration of war

US laws provide many military powers to the US president, who is also the commander of the armed forces. Article II of the Constitution grants him a mandate to use force in specific cases, after obtaining the approval of Congress. 

“Declarations of war” give the US president the full and unconditional use of the US military, provided they obtain a “specific statutory authorization” from Congress, or in self-defense after the country is under attack and a state of emergency is declared.

The United States issued its last “declaration of war”, in 1942, against Romania during World War II. 

But then Congress approved a number of mandates that deviated from the constitutional norm, which allow the US president to launch military operations in specific cases, without the need for congressional approval. 

The United States has waged its wars in Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq according to these mandates.  

Four days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Congress issued the “AUMF 2001” authorization, which allowed any US president to use military force according to parameters that Congress had placed under the “war on terror” designation, without the need for prior approval. 

However, the wording of this mandate did not include any geographical boundaries, which allowed actions to be taken against all those who “planned, authorized, committed, or assisted” al-Qaeda in carrying out terrorist attacks and those who “harbored” the attackers, and thus paved the way for launching the American war on Afghanistan, which embraced fighters Al-Qaeda. 

This “broad” language has contributed to the US launching 41 operations in 19 countries, according to the Friends Committee on National Legislation website.

The 2002 AUMF mandate for the US war in Iraq defined the president’s authority to use the armed forces as “necessary and appropriate” to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and “implement all Security Council resolutions relevant to Iraq.” “.

decisive vote

The Senate is expected to vote this week to repeal the “2002 AUMF” mandate for Iraq, as part of the passage of the $768 billion annual defense authorization bill. 

After about 20 years, the United States reduced the number of its forces in Iraq to 2,500 out of 170,000, and the Iraqi government became a close ally of Washington. 


Democrats seek to declare their success in ending America’s eternal wars, and this was evident when the United States announced the withdrawal from Afghanistan, to end the longest war it has ever witnessed.  

The current US President, Joe Biden, supports the decision to cancel the authorization for Iraq, and acknowledged that the United States “has no military activities that rely exclusively on the 2002 AUMF according to a domestic legal basis.” 

Repealing the law could provide a more specific mandate for current challenges. 

The legislators seek to revoke the Afghanistan mandate (AUMF 2001), and see rescinding Iraq’s first mandate as a necessary and essential step to do so.  

Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, who has led efforts to repeal Afghanistan’s mandate, said members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were in talks with the White House to repeal and replace “AUMF 2001.” 

But, he emphasized, “the idea was always that we’d revoke another mandate first.” 

Critics see Afghanistan’s mandate as a “blank check” used to launch military operations in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Niger, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and the Philippines.  

Democratic Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, told Axios, “I believe that Congress should give consent to the use of force, and when it has served its purpose, should rescind it to ensure that it is not abused.” 

Menendez warned that repealing Afghanistan’s mandate “is a complex matter,” adding that the 2001 mandate “is not just about repealing it, but about replacing it.”

His position was shared by Republican Senator Rand Paul, who told Axios, “I think it would be great if we could rescind the 2002 (Iraq) mandate,” but warned that rescinding Afghanistan’s mandate “would be more complicated.” 
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, for his part, showed more interest in rescinding Afghanistan’s mandate because presidents interpreted it “as allowing them to do whatever they want,” he told Axios.  


But some Republicans fear that repealing Iraq’s mandate may embolden armed groups in the country that have carried out attacks against US forces stationed there. 

And the “Axios” website quoted sources close to the Republican minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, that he expected the mandate to be revoked, but would demand that it be kept. 

For his part, Republican Senator Ted Cruz said: “I believe strongly in Congress carrying out its powers of war.”


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