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Congress passed two war authorizations after 9/11. Repealing the second of these authorizations, the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq (Iraq AUMF) is a first step toward Congress reasserting its constitutional authority over when and if the United States goes to war. There is strong bipartisan support for this effort.

Please cosponsor H.R. 256/S.J. Res. 10 to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF.

Article II of the Constitution gives the president the authority to use 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. 

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. The Iraq AUMF, approved in October 2002, remains a part of U.S. law. Today, it is imperative that members of Congress cosponsor H.R. 256/S.J. Res. 10 to repeal it.

The 2002 Iraq AUMF should be repealed because:

  • It creates the potential for further abuse. In January 2020, the 2002 Iraq AUMF was misused to justify the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Congress should require the executive branch to seek specific authority for military actions.
  • It is not needed. The Constitution gives the president authority to defend the United States against attack. Existing operations would not be affected by repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF.
  • 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.
  • It is Congress’s constitutional responsibility. It is Congress’s role to not only authorize but to limit the president’s power to use force. Repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF would reassert Congress’s Article I constitutional duty to determine if and when the United States goes to war.

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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