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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
The Ukraine War at two years: By the numbers


KYIV, UKRAINE - July 12, 2023: Destroyed and burned Russian military tanks and parts of equipment are exhibited at the Mykhailivska square in Kyiv city centre. (Oleksandr Popenko/Shutterstock)

The Ukraine War at two years: By the numbers

Europe

Two years ago on Feb. 24, 2022, the world watched as Russian tanks rolled into the outskirts of Kyiv and missiles struck the capital city.

Contrary to initial predictions, Kyiv never fell, but the country today remains embroiled in conflict. The front line holds in the southeastern region of the country, with contested areas largely focused on the Russian-speaking Donbas and port cities around the Black Sea.

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Navalny's death shouldn't close off talks with Putin

A woman lays flowers at the monument to the victims of political repressions following the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in Moscow, Russia February 16, 2024. REUTERS/Stringer

Navalny's death shouldn't close off talks with Putin

Analysis

President Biden was entirely correct in the first part of his judgment on the death of Alexei Navalny: “Putin is responsible, whether he ordered it, or he is responsible for the circumstances he put that man in.” Even if Navalny eventually died of “natural causes,” his previous poisoning, and the circumstances of his imprisonment, must obviously be considered as critical factors in his death.

For his tremendous courage in returning to Russia after his medical treatment in the West — knowing well the dangers that he faced — the memory of Navalny should be held in great honor. He joins the immense list of Russians who have died for their beliefs at the hands of the state. Public expressions of anger and disgust at the manner of his death are justified and correct.

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Big US investors prop up the nuclear weapons industry

ProStockStudio via shutterstock.com

Big US investors prop up the nuclear weapons industry

Military Industrial Complex

Nuclear weapons aren’t just a threat to human survival, they’re a multi-billion-dollar business supported by some of the biggest institutional investors in the U.S. according to new data released today by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and PAX, the largest peace organization in the Netherlands.

For the third year in a row, globally, the number of investors in nuclear weapons producers has fallen but the overall amount invested in these companies has increased, largely thanks to some of the biggest investment banks and funds in the U.S.

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Israel-Gaza Crisis

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