The Iraq War Anniversary Should Remind Us the War on Terror Failed, by Julia Gledhill

The US foreign policy establishment, or Blob, is number one in the world at doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result (Einstein’s definition of insanity). From Julia Gledhill at defenseone.com:

We must start to correct course now by repealing the 2002 AUMF.

The Iraq War began 18 years ago on a quiet night in Washington: March 19, 2003.

Domestically, the Bush administration justified the Iraq invasion under the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, which allowed the president to “defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and to “enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

The 2002 AUMF notwithstanding, many argue that the lengthy, bitterly fought war was illegal under international law. In any case, successive presidents have reinterpreted the 2002 legislation to justify military actions that Congress never authorized, let alone contemplated. Perhaps the most egregious of these was in January 2020 when the Trump administration cited it as authority for the targeted killing of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. The drone strike killed nine other people as well as the general.

No matter who is in the Oval Office, the 2002 Iraq AUMF remains vulnerable to presidential abuse. Thankfully, Congress finally seems in a place to repeal it. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., recently promised to take up Rep. Barbara Lee’s, D-Calif., bill to repeal the authorization this month. In the Senate, Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Todd Young, R-Ind., recently introduced a repeal bill supported by a bipartisan group of senators.

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