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This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.

Repealing the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq (AUMF) is the first step towards Congress reasserting its constitutional authority over when the United States goes to war. Article II of the Constitution gives the president the authority to use limited military force without congressional approval to defend the United States against a sudden or imminent attack. But under Article I of the Constitution, Congress has the sole authority to decide whether to allow the president to take the country into a prolonged war.  

Publicly support the introduction of legislation to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

As a Quaker organization, FCNL opposes all war. As a matter of public policy, we believe Congress must debate and vote before the president commits our military to lethal action and should regularly evaluate and vote on whether to continue ongoing U.S. wars. In January 2020, the 2002 Iraq AUMF was misused in the strike on Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. This January, it is imperative that members of congress publicly support the introduction of legislation to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF. 

The 2002 Iraq AUMF should be repealed because:

  • It creates the potential for further abuse. The 2002 Iraq AUMF authorized the president to use force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq regime. Eighteen years later, the executive branch cited this law to justify the January 2020 strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Congress should eliminate any possibility for the executive branch to further expand the scope of the 2002 Iraq AUMF to justify unforeseen and unauthorized military actions.
  • It is not needed for existing operations. Repeal would have no impact on the ability to continue current military operations. The executive branch acknowledges it is only using the 2002 Iraq AUMF to reinforce its authority under the 2001 AUMF for some operations.
  • It is no longer relevant. The Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in 2003 and a formal end to the U.S. mission in Iraq was declared at the end of 2011.

Read more about the 2002 Iraq AUMF here.

FCNL Contact: Heather Brandon-Smith Legislative Director for Militarism, HBrandon-Smith@fcnl.org

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