Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Authorization of Froce and Iran

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and chief security advisor, John Bolton, claimed this week that the current authorization for military force includes the authorization for war against Iran, should they want to go to war (link).

US Navy Destroyer attack group on it's way to Iran through the Suez Canal... Fun Ensues
Let me lay down my marker that I think war with Iran is asinine, a giant mistake and totally "not our fight". If Israel and Saudi Arabia (odd bed-fellows here) want to go to war with Iran, fine. But we don't have a dog in that hunt.

Having said that, now let's look at the legal basis the administration is dressing up like a cheap prostitute and sticking under the streetlight glare. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was specifically called out for Al-Queda and their terrorist supporters. To quote:

That law gave the president the power to use force against "nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

Now Iran, who supports anti-US and anti-Israel groups does NOT fall under this authorization. In fact, Iran supported the US in Afghanistan. They hated the Taliban and Al-Queda. They did not harbor the terrorists. I am not saying they are honest regional players. Like the US and Saudi Arabia, Iran has a number of proxy groups in the region working to destabilize regimes. But that doesn't mean they fall under the 2001 AUMF.

Remember when the Republicans declined to authorize force in Libya. And when President Obama went to Congress for authorization for Syria and was denied? The Constitution gives Congress the ability to declare war. The President can wage war for up to 60 days without authorization - but this administration is claim current AUMF is valid for any Iranian conflict.

It's not.

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