|Tell Congress: Finally repeal the blank check for endless war|
|The petition to the House of Representatives reads:
“Congress has the explicit duty to debate and authorize war. Repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force – the flawed blank check that authorizes the president to wage war, anywhere at any time. It has now been nearly 16 years of endless war, it’s time for Congress to finally do its job.”
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Since 2001, Congress has allowed a state of endless war. They passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in the days following 9/11, and since then presidents have used it to justify warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, the lethal use of drones and so much more.1 But now, after 16 years, Congress has finally taken a crucial first step towards repealing it.
The House Appropriations Committee recently passed progressive champion Rep. Barbara Lee’s amendment to sunset the 2001 AUMF.2 This is the first time that a congressional panel has voted to repeal the AUMF and if this amendment continues to move forward, it could finally force Congress to do its job to debate and vote on entering into war against ISIS and al Qaeda.3 We can’t let this opportunity pass by – will you help?
The time to repeal the AUMF is long overdue. It is a flawed, overbroad blank check that presidents have used to justify waging war anywhere, at any time. A 2016 report showed that presidents have used the AUMF to justify war acts at least 37 times, in 14 countries.4 The authorization empowers the president to target anyone they deem a threat, even civilians, and fails to specify or limit what actions are authorized, in any way. The AUMF is vague and overbroad – that’s why such widespread application and interpretation is possible and why it’s so important that we seize this opportunity to repeal it.
Rep. Lee has been fighting the AUMF since she was the sole vote against it in 2001, and she finally has some other members of Congress standing with her against endless war. It’s clear why: We can’t afford another presidency with a blank check for war.
Throughout Trump’s racist and misogynistic campaign, he tried to present himself as an anti-war candidate. Since his election, he has failed to invest in staff or strategies that will lead to anything other than American and civilian bloodshed. He has recklessly ratcheted up tensions in North Korea, threatening – in Trump’s words – a “major, major conflict.”5 Those are not just empty words – he has sent aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and a host of other military forces toward the region. In the past six months he has also escalated our involvement in the Syrian conflict, including illegally launching Tomahawk missiles6 and significantly escalated air strikes in Yemen, dropping more bombs in one week than the Obama administration did in any given year.7
Rather than working to counter terrorism and weaken ISIS, escalating our military entanglement in Middle Eastern countries – with the inevitable escalation of civilian casualties that comes with it – has been shown to actually help terrorists with recruitment. When Trump and his administration are sloppy and reckless with foreign affairs, our troops and innocent civilians will suffer the consequences.
Open-ended military engagement, with no end in sight, undermines our long-term national security. At CREDO, we have been proud to stand with Rep. Barbara Lee in her fight to repeal the AUMF, and now that some members of Congress are realizing the urgency, we have to push all of them to take a stand.
Tell the House of Representatives: Pass Rep. Lee’s amendment to repeal Trump’s blank check for endless war. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thank you for standing for peace,
Tessa Levine, Campaign Manager
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