USA – US Senate takes first step to repeal authorisations for use of military force against Iraq

Archive – U.S. military (archive) – Robyn Haake/Planet Pix via ZUMA / DPA

The U.S. Senate on Thursday took the first step toward repealing authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq passed in 1991 and 2002 by allowing a vote in Congress to consider them, all close to the 20th anniversary of the start of the war.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has introduced the proposal to repeal the authorizations for the use of military force against Iraq, which should be voted on next week, ‘The Hill’ has reported.

The legislation has been sponsored by Republican Senator Todd Young and Democrat Tim Kaine, who argue that formally ending the two authorizations for the use of military force would send a message of support for Iraq, now a strategic partner in the Middle East.

The White House has reportedly supported the measure, which would mark a formal conclusion to the conflicts and a symbolic reaffirmation of Congress’ ability to declare war.

Lawmakers have worked unsuccessfully in recent years to repeal the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that gave the U.S. president broad powers to conduct military operations without congressional approval.

The 2002 AUMF has been used by successive presidents for military operations beyond its original scope. For example, former President Barack Obama used the 2002 measure to justify airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump cited that AUMF in authorizing the strike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad, according to CNN.