(Washington) The US Senate on Wednesday approved a bill reversing executive authority to wage war in Iraq, 20 years after the US invaded that country to oust Saddam Hussein from power.
This text, which plans to revoke the so-called Authorization of the Use of Military Force Act (AUMF) of 2002 which allowed George W. Bush to invade Iraq, as well as the AUMF of 1991 which authorized his father, George H.W. Bush, to attack the Middle Eastern country after Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded Kuwait, was approved by a vote of 66 to 30.
“America, Iraq, and the world have changed a lot since 2002, and it’s time for our laws to catch up with those changes,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“These AUMFs have expired. Cancellation (of these laws) will have no impact on our troops serving overseas or our ability to keep Americans safe,” he added.
President Joe Biden has promised to enact the law if it comes before him, but it still needs to be approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which is uncertain.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, asked recently on NBC about the likelihood of him putting the text to a vote, remained evasive. “I’ll have to see what’s inside first,” he said.
The 2002 AUMF had been used to justify continued US operations in Iraq after the end of the war, such as retaliatory operations against pro-Iranian militias attacking bases where US soldiers are deployed.
She was notably cited to justify the assassination by the American army of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in 2020 in Baghdad, ordered by Donald Trump.
The text voted on Wednesday would not cancel, if it were promulgated, the AUMF concerning Afghanistan, dating from 2001, which grants broad powers to the American executive to pursue Al-Qaeda in Syria, Yemen, Somalia and in other African countries.
The war in Iraq left 4,500 dead and 32,000 wounded among American forces.