1. Legislative Ask
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism

Repeal the 2002 Iraq War Authorization

Congress Must Take Back War Powers


Seventeen years have passed since Congress adopted the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq, which served as the basis for U.S. military action against the Saddam Hussein regime.

That war was declared officially over in 2011 and the United States withdrew its troops. Current U.S. military operations in Iraq do not rely on the 2002 Iraq War Authorization.

At the beginning of this year, President Trump claimed the 2002 Iraq War Authorization as legal authority to assassinate Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, and attack other Iranian officials and assets in Iraq.

The Constitution gives Congress the sole authority to declare war. The president may use military force without congressional approval only to defend the United States against a sudden or imminent attack.

As a Quaker organization, we oppose 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The 2002 Iraq War authorization should be repealed with no replacement. H.R. 2456, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), and S.J. Res. 13, sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine (VA) would do just that. We urge House and Senate leaders to bring these bills to the floor for consideration, and we urge all members to cosponsor and vote for these bills.

Please support House and Senate bills to repeal the 2002 Iraq War Authorization without replacement.

The 2002 Iraq War Authorization should be repealed because:

  • It's a relic of the disastrous Iraq war. Repealing the authorization that launched it is an important symbolic step that shows Congress is ready to turn the page and move away from destructive wars of choice.
  • It's not relevant. This authorization specified military action only against the Saddam Hussein regime and is meaningless in 2020. It does not authorize current U.S. operations in Iraq.
  • It's open to abuse. The fact that the administration is claiming authority to attack Iran under the cover of this AUMF shows exactly the kind of unjustified expansion we predicted.

FCNL Contact: Don Chen, Program Assistant for Militarism and Human Rights: dchen@fcnl.org