1. Legislative Ask

The NDAA Must Prevent Unauthorized War with Iran

May 12, 2020

The United States and Iran are moving closer to war every day. Iran’s provocative naval maneuvers and the U.S. response could easily lead to an accidental military confrontation.

The NDAA should prohibit unauthorized war with Iran.

These dangerous conditions have been exacerbated by the administration’s shutting down of diplomacy with Iran, assassination of a top Iranian official, and, most recently, the president’s veto of the bipartisan Iran War Powers Resolution.

There is growing bipartisan support in the House and Senate to prevent another disastrous war in the Middle East. Congress has another chance to stop this march to war by attaching an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit military action against Iran without congressional authorization – except in response to an attack on America or its armed forces.

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 the U.S. military to lethal action and should regularly evaluate and vote on whether to continue ongoing U.S. wars.

  • A war with Iran would be catastrophic for human lives, national security, and the health of the planet. Diplomacy and international cooperation are the only paths to lasting security.
  • Article I of the Constitution states that only Congress has the power to declare war. Congress has not authorized military action against Iran, and therefore should not permit funds to be used for that purpose.
  • Article II of the Constitution authorizes the president to use military force to repel sudden attacks against the United States, even without congressional authorization. Prohibiting the use of funds for unauthorized war would not interfere with the ability of the president to defend the country against attack.

FCNL Contact: Hassan El-Tayyab, hassan@fcnl.org