WASHINGTON — Many Americans might not know that the U.S. is still technically at war with terrorist groups and violent regimes in Iraq.
This is true because the use of force authorizations from 1991 and 2002 are still active laws on the books with the federal government. Your senator has been working across the aisle to repeal these authorizations.
Sen. Todd Young said on Thursday that its time to bring any fighting involving the U.S. in the Middle East to an end in order to bring closure to not just Americans but also the veterans who served in Iraq over the last three decades.
“Today we honor them with the strong bipartisan vote, advancing this legislation to repeal the Iraq War authorizations,” Young said on Capitol Hill Thursday. “Most of my constituents are unaware, they had absolutely no idea, that these legal authorities were still on the books after all these years.”
The Senate voted 68-27 on Thursday to move the bill to a final vote. It has 12 Republicans, including Young, vote in favor of it along with every Democrat. The 27 naysayers were all Republicans. Young helped right the bill along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“It seems intuitive to most Americans that we would repeal the authorizations when they are no longer needed,” Young said. “We’re going through the responsible, much needed, and might I say much-neglected work of finally, legally bringing a war to a close today.”
President Barak Obama formally ended the War in Iraq in 2011, but the rise of ISIS in the 2010s and other infighting amongst other insurgent groups in Iraq forced US troops to stay for a few years longer. Obama cited the 2002 authorization to justify military operations against ISIS in Iraq during his administration.
President Donald Trump also cited the 2002 authorization in 2020 to carry out an airstrike against Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani.
Approval of the bill with the president’s signature would mean the U.S. could no longer carry out military operations in Iraq without passing a new use of force authorization.
A 2001 use of force authorization is also still on the books in regards to targeting those responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks. That authorization would not be impacted by Young and Kaine’s bill if it becomes law.
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