The presence of nearly 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq has endured for almost two years, far exceeding the 60 day limit on military action unapproved by Congress. Congress should act to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMAFT) of 2001 and the War Powers Resolution of 1973, removing blanket permission to the President to wage lengthy wars throughout the world.
Due to the failure of Congress to declare war on ISIS, the President has expanded the interpretation of the AUMAFT to include ISIS as a successor to the terrorists responsible for 9/11. Congress must act now to curtail the blanket authority of the President to wage war.
Our leaders say that these new wars will last for years. Over the past 15 years, this country has already spent almost 1.7 trillion dollars for campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and other parts of the Middle East and South Asia. These military actions have brought hundreds of thousands of deaths, but neither peace nor security. Meanwhile, the U.S. could have instead used these hundreds of billions of dollars to provide for jobs, social services, and renewable energy.
The current campaign to sell this war has nothing to do with protecting us or the people of the area. Instead, the U.S. intends to secure control of the area by repressive governments and sectarian militias allied (for the time being) with Washington. The current bombing campaign is a violation of the U.N. Charter and the U.S. Constitution. ISIS is using modern U.S. weapons that were previously sent into the region in order to stabilize a corrupt and brutal regime in Baghdad and to overthrow Syria’s government.
We should not be involved militarily in a sectarian conflict that our war in Iraq contributed to setting off. Rather, we should support a policy of non-intervention and self-determination. Any real and lasting solution to these problems must come from the peoples of that region themselves, not from the Pentagon. There is no military solution to the crisis, and more arms to any side mean more civilians will be killed.
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