Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) applauds today’s House vote to repeal the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq (2002 Iraq AUMF).
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With its passing, as part of a package of amendments to the annual defense policy bill, the House renewed its call to end the decades-old war authority that has been used to continue and justify acts of war long after Hussein’s 2003 removal from power.
“For 20 years, Congress has abdicated its responsibility to decide if, when, and where the United States goes to war. Today’s passage of the House bill is an important win for the American people, who have made it clear they are tired of never-ending war. Whether it be Iraq or Ukraine, this must stop.” said FCNL General Secretary Bridget Moix. “For years, FCNL’s nationwide grassroots network has engaged Congress to pursue peace, not war.”
Most recently, the 2002 Iraq AUMF was misused to justify the January 2020 targeted killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. The other force authorization currently in use is the 2001 AUMF, issued soon after 9/11, which four presidents have used to justify militarized counterterrorism operations in at least 19 countries The Biden administration has confirmed that no current operations rely solely on the 2002 Iraq AUMF and supports its repeal. A Senate bill to repeal the 2002 AUMF currently has 48 cosponsors, including 11 Republicans.
“Today, the House has taken a critical step forward in reasserting its constitutional power to determine when the United States chooses war,” said Heather Brandon-Smith, FCNL’s legislative director for militarism and human rights. “The 2002 Iraq AUMF is not needed for any current operations but it has been abused and will stay open to further abuse if it remains on the books. With strong support for repealing this outdated war authorization in the House, Senate, and White House, members of Congress should seize this moment and repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF once and for all.”
FCNL’s grassroots advocacy teams have built relationships with Congress by respectfully but persistently urging them to reject the open-ended war authorizations that perpetuate conflict and a militarized foreign policy.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.