This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.
The 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (2002 Iraq AUMF) authorized war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime. Bipartisan majorities in Congress support repealing this outdated and dangerous law.
Please urge congressional leadership to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF.
In June 2021, the House voted overwhelmingly to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF. The bipartisan Senate bill to repeal this AUMF, from Sens. Tim Kaine (VA) and Todd Young (IN), currently has 46 cosponsors, including 10 Republicans. The White House has also publicly expressed support for repealing 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 attack. But under Article I of the Constitution, Congress has the sole authority to authorize 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The 2002 Iraq AUMF should be repealed because:
- It has been abused and remains open to further abuse. In January 2020, the 2002 Iraq AUMF was misused to justify the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. Congress should prevent any further abuse of this outdated law.
- It is not needed for existing operations. The executive branch relies on a different authority, the 2001 AUMF, as the legal basis for all current military 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.
- It is Congress’s job to decide when the United States goes to war. Leaving an obsolete war authorization on the books in case the president may want to use it for a future operation is an abdication of Congress’s Article I constitutional duty.