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The Biden Administration has announced its support for passage of H.R. 256, Rep. Barbara Lee’s (CA-13) bill to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (“2002 Iraq AUMF”). This marks the first time in memory that a President has officially called for the repeal of a war authorization, a significant step towards ending the forever wars.

The 2002 Iraq AUMF authorized war against the Saddam Hussein regime.  That war ended years ago, but the war authorization remains on the books, leaving it susceptible to abuse by any president. A clear example of such abuse came in January 2020 when it was used to justify the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Read the official Statement of Administration Policy below:

The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 256, to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (“2002 AUMF”). This bipartisan legislation would terminate the October 16, 2002, statutory authorization for the use of military force against Iraq.

The Administration supports the repeal of the 2002 AUMF, as the United States has no ongoing military activities that rely solely on the 2002 AUMF as a domestic legal basis, and repeal of the 2002 AUMF would likely have minimal impact on current military operations. Furthermore, the President is committed to working with the Congress to ensure that outdated authorizations for the use of military force are replaced with a narrow and specific framework appropriate to ensure that we can continue to protect Americans from terrorist threats.

In working with the Congress on repealing and replacing other existing authorizations of military force, the Administration seeks to ensure that the Congress has a clear and thorough understanding of the effect of any such action and of the threats facing U.S. forces, personnel, and interests around the world.  As the Administration works with the Congress to reform AUMFs, it will be critical to maintain the clear authority to address threats to the United States’ national interests with appropriately decisive and effective military action.

Download statement here.

Diana Ohlbaum, Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy

Diana Ohlbaum

Senior Strategist and Legislative Director for Foreign Policy
Diana Ohlbaum directs FCNL’s foreign policy lobbying team and leads an effort to replace the current U.S. foreign policy paradigm of military domination and national superiority with a more ethical and effective one based on cooperation and mutual respect.

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