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House to put down zombie AUMFs today

But an authorization for military conflict in Africa just won't die as lawmakers move to renew a controversial counter-terror program, too.

Middle East

Following the June 17 vote to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq in 2003, the House is doing a bit more cleaning, sweeping out other “zombie laws” on the books that have authorized such militarism in the Middle East for 30 years — and more. 

Today, under a suspension of the rules — meaning no amendments — the chamber is expected to pass a measure led by Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) to repeal a Cold War era law on the books that found “the preservation of the independence and integrity of the nations of the Middle East vital to the national interest and world peace.”

This law — codified in section 1962 of Title 22 of the U.S. Code — has authorized  the President since 1957 “to use armed forces to assist any such nation or group of such nations requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism … consonant with the treaty obligations of the United States and with the Constitution of the United States.”  The short law also authorized the executive branch to provide military assistance to any nations of the greater Middle East who want it.

In further House cleaning, a resolution led by Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) will repeal Congress’ 1991 authorization for the U.S. military to wage war against Iraq over its invasion of Kuwait.  

The Heritage Foundation has been pressing for repeal of these old provisions. It feels odd to say this, but ‘well done!’

At the same time, however, Congress is also expected today to pass a measure to deepen U.S. efforts to counter politically motivated violence in the Sahel region of Africa. HR567 would make it the “policy of the United States to assist countries in North and West Africa, and other allies and partners active in those regions, in combating terrorism and violent extremism through a coordinated interagency approach.”  The U.S. has supposedly had a coordinated, interagency approach to combatting terrorism in this region for nearly two decades.  This move comes as the French are stepping away from their leadership of counter terror train and assist efforts in the region.

U.S. Marine lean on a .50-caliber manchine gun in Northern Iraq as they wait for their convoy to depart in April 1991. (USMC/public domain)
Middle East
How much did the right really gain in Europe?

Marine Le Pen, President of the French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National - RN) party parliamentary group, and Jordan Bardella, President of the French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National - RN) party and head of the RN list for the European elections, attend a political rally during the party's campaign for the EU elections, in Paris, France, June 2, 2024. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

How much did the right really gain in Europe?


The elections for the European Parliament brought gains for parties belonging to both its populist far- right factions — European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and the more radical Identity and Democracy (ID) group. Parties of the populist or far right (ECR, ID or unaffiliated) came in first in five countries: France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia.

In Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, such parties made a strong second place showing. These elections produced highly unsettling developments in France and Germany, the two most influential EU member countries.

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What the Swiss 'peace summit' can realistically achieve

President of the Swiss Confederation Viola Amherd and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy inspect the guard of honour of the Swiss Army, on Monday, January 15, 2024, in Kehrsatz, near Bern, Switzerland. Keystone/Alessandro Della Valle/Pool via REUTERS

What the Swiss 'peace summit' can realistically achieve


The Ukraine “Peace Summit” in Geneva this weekend is not really a summit and is not really about peace.

The agenda has been scaled back to discussions of limited measures aimed not at ending the war, but at softening some of its aspects. Outside Europe, very few international leaders are attending — including President Biden, who is sending Vice President Kamala Harris and national security adviser Jake Sullivan instead.

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Diplomacy Watch: At G7 summit, West works to reassure Ukraine


Switzerland will host a summit this weekend aimed at shoring up global support for Ukraine’s war effort — and Washington and its Western partners are looking to ensure that Kyiv enters the meeting in as strong a position as possible.

Not much of the news coming out of Ukraine in recent months has been particularly positive. Russia has started taking Ukrainian territory for the first time since 2022, there has been increasing political turmoil in Kyiv, and morale among frontline soldiers continues to suffer. Last weekend, right-wing parties that are more skeptical of assisting Ukraine overperformed in European parliamentary elections, particularly in France and Germany.

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