The War in Iraq is Over, Let’s Keep it That Way

The War in Iraq is Over, Let’s Keep it That Way

The war hawks are stirring over the recent conflict in Iraq. It’s been roughly two years since the war in Iraq ended, but is that chapter in our history officially over? Not yet, according to Sen. Paul. If Obama wanted to, if any future president wanted to, they could send our troops right back into the area under the Iraq AUMF.

In 2011, when Paul originally tried to repeal the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force), he urged “Congress to reclaim its constitutional authority over the decision to go to war, or to end a war — it is one of the body’s most important powers. It is right that we [should wrest] back from a President who has shown he cannot be trusted to obey the Constitution or powers prescribed to Congress in it.” (The New American)

Obama “supports the repeal of the Iraq AUMF,” according to Yahoo! News, but his spokesperson downplayed the importance of the repeal saying that it would be “entirely symbolic.” If it’s not that important, then why allow it to hang on the wall like Chekhov’s gun?

“The war in Iraq is officially over,” Paul said, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

“With the practical side of the mission concluded, I feel it is appropriate to bring this conflict to an official, legal end.”

And everything seems to be in line for its repeal:

With America out of Iraq, disillusioned with Afghanistan, and clearly opposed to intervening in Syria, the opposition to a direct re-engagement in Iraq could be intense. Even McCain and Graham don’t propose it. (Time)

Let’s officially ‘end’ this war in Iraq. There’s no taste for going back and there’s no reason why the power to engage in Iraq should lie unchecked with the President.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the big-mama 2001 AUMF. With that still on the books, repealing the AUMF for Iraq certainly is ‘symbolic’ but it’s still a first step in preventing U.S. involvement in endless wars. Then maybe we can work on narrowing or repealing the other one.

 

(Photo courtesy of ToddMorris, via Flickr Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0)

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