Anti-war activist demonstrate outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, on January 4, 2020.
PHOTO BY ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
A coalition of 37 human rights and anti-war organizations urged members of the US Congress to abolish the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq, arguing that a repeal could ensure that no other “unchecked” president will “misuse” the statute to fight other conflicts.
In a letter addressed to several senators and congressmen, such as Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Patrick Leahy, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, and Kevin McCarthy, among others, the coalition urged to act on what it referred to as a “long overdue repeal.”
“Repealing this outdated and unnecessary law would constitute a basic act of constitutional hygiene while also ensuring that the 2002 Iraq AUMF cannot be misused to breath new life into an unforeseen national security crisis, driven by an unchecked president,” the letter said.
The US Congress overwhelmingly adopted the ‘Authorization for the Use of Military Force’ (AUMF) resolution in 2002, giving the American president permission to carry out military operations by the conditions outlined in the legislation, according to Middle East Eye.
Former US President George W. Bush used the resolution to launch an invasion of Iraq in 2003. Even after the Iraq war, other presidents continued to use the same resolution.
The 2020 US strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was legally justified by the former Trump administration, which utilized the 2002 AUMF, according to MEE.
“This scenario has already played out once, in early 2020; there is nothing to prevent it playing out again until Congress takes the 2002 Iraq AUMF off the books,” adds the coalition letter.
The human rights coalition argues that by overruling the 2002 AUMF, Congress “would finally reclaim its constitutional war powers in a manner both deeply significant and increasingly uncontroversial.”
The congressional authorization has only been used in Muslim-majority countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen.