Officials in the Biden administration on Tuesday argued for the repeal of the 2002 Iraq war permit, saying it would have no effect on ongoing military operations or the ability to protect US troops in Iraq.
The testimony of Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and top lawyers in the State Department and the Pentagon reiterated the position on the repeal of the 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that the White House presented in a written statement earlier this year.
But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday gave lawmakers their first opportunity to publicly question administration officials on the matter.
“The Biden-Harris administration believes that the 2002 authorization for the use of the military against Iraq has exceeded its usefulness and should be repealed,” Sherman told senators.
“For the State Department, the repeal of the 2002 AUMF would not affect our diplomatic initiatives, and the administration has made it clear that we have no ongoing military activity that relies solely on the AUMF to 2002 ”, she added.
The hearing comes before the committee is scheduled to consider a Sens bill on Wednesday. Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine Democrats move forward as Manchin Yo-yo Senate pushes defense bill forward after defense and national security delay overnight – Brought to you by Boeing – Senators to lean on the Wednesday Defense Bill PLUS (D-Va.) And Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungOvernight Defense & National Security – Brought to you by Boeing – Senators to look at Defense Bill Wednesday Schumer: It’s “now” to repeal Iraq War Resolution It’s time to give beneficiaries of Medicare the opportunity and choice to recover at home PLUS (R-Ind.) Which would repeal the 2002 AUMF, as well as the 1991 AUMF which gave the green light to the Gulf War.
Momentum has been built towards repealing decades-old authorizations for war. President BidenJoe BidenUS lawmakers arrive in Taiwan to meet with local officials Biden meets with Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Five reasons why Biden and the GOP are grateful this season MORE launched airstrikes against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria in February and June. Biden cited his authorities under Article II of the Constitution, not an AUMF, but the action has always spurred Congressional efforts to restrict existing authorizations for war.
In June, the House voted to repeal the 2002 and 1991 AUMFs, as well as a 1957 resolution that granted broad authorization for military action in the Middle East to protect against “armed aggression from any controlled country. by international communism ”.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was originally scheduled to consider the Kaine-Young Bill to repeal 2002 and 1991 permissions in June, but Republicans on the panel requested Tuesday’s hearing, along with a confidential briefing held in June. July, before the committee considers the bill. .
Most Republicans have argued that the 2002 repeal of the AUMF could cripple US counterterrorism missions and embolden Iranian-backed militias that target US forces in Iraq.
“The repeal of this authority amplifies Iranian messages that it is expelling the United States from the region, rewards Iranian proxies for attacks against the Americans, and decreases the influence of the United States in nuclear talks in Vienna, by done if we have any influence, “Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen ranking member. James Risch (R-Idaho) said Tuesday.
In particular, Republicans have singled out the Trump administration’s drone strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The administration cited the 2002 AUMF as part of its legal justification.
But Caroline Krass, general counsel for the Pentagon, and Richard Visek, acting legal adviser at the State Department, pointed out on Tuesday that the 2002 AUMF was secondary to the Trump administration’s legal argument for the strike. Soleimani, behind the Article II authorities.
Sherman also hit back at Republican criticisms that the Biden administration did not do enough to deter Iranian aggression in the Middle East, saying “nothing has stopped Iran’s attacks; the murder of Qassem Soleimani did not deter the Iranians from attacking.
Visek, Krass and Sherman also felt that the Biden administration believes it has sufficient authority under Article II to respond to any threat against US troops in Iraq.
“The repeal of the 2002 AUMF would not hamper the ability of US forces to protect and defend themselves. The Defense Ministry would have raised concerns and opposed the repeal if we thought it would put our men and women in uniform more at risk, ”Krass said.
Anti-ISIS operations, on the other hand, are covered by the 2001 AUMF. And if something happens where the administration needs more legal authorities for military action, officials “will not hesitate to go back to Congress “and ask those authorities,” Sheman said.
Sherman also argued that the repeal of the 2002 AUMF might actually strengthen the United States’ position in Iraq by formally recognizing that relations between the United States and Iraq have evolved over the past 20 years. last years.
“Messaging is important,” she said. “I think the repeal says we’ve actually been successful. Repeal says that the time of Saddam Hussein is over, the time of an Iraq that was not a partner of the United States is behind us. So, in my eyes and in the eyes of the administration, the repeal of the AUMF of 2002 is a sign of strength, of success, of progress in history.