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Repeal the 2001, 2002 authorizations for use of military force – Orange County


On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted 268 to 161 to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq. The AUMF, directed at the regime of Saddam Hussein, has long since lost its relevance. As with the 2001 AUMF passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, the 2002 AUMF wrongly cedes war-making powers to the executive branch while letting Congress shirk its constitutional authority. Both AUMFs should be repealed once and for all.

The U.S. Constitution is clear. Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 grants Congress, not the executive branch, the authority to declare war.

The 2002 AUMF, however, kicks over to the executive branch the authority to, “use the Armed  Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate” in defense of U.S. national security interests in Iraq and to enforce U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

As most Americans now realize, the war in Iraq was a disastrous and unnecessary war with only the vaguest of aims.

Trillions of dollars have been squandered and committed. Thousands of U.S. troops were killed or wounded, many permanently.

According to the Costs of War Project from the Brown University-based Watson Institute, “there have been over 182,000 Iraqi civilians killed by direct violence since the US invasion,” and many more indirectly.

Saddam Hussein has been dead for 15 years. The AUMF is no longer relevant today and we seriously question the wisdom of lawmakers who voted against the repeal.

Fortunately, 49 Republicans voted in support of repealing the AUMF. This includes Southern California Republican Reps. Mike Garcia of Los Angeles County, Jay Obernolte of San Bernardino County and Michelle Steel of Orange County. We commend them for understanding their constitutional responsibilities and the need to repeal unnecessary blank checks to the executive branch.

Unfortunately, other Southern California Republican members of the House voted to perpetuate the outdated AUMF, specifically, Reps. Ken Calvert of Riverside County and Young Kim of Orange County.

It should have been an easy vote for Calvert and Kim. There is no legitimate reason for the AUMF to remain on the books, nor is there practical use for it. Alas, they opted to take a constitutionally suspect position.

We encourage them to commit to ending, not perpetuating, America’s endless wars abroad.



Read More: Repeal the 2001, 2002 authorizations for use of military force – Orange County

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