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)
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.

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.

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