Win Without War Director Stephen Miles issued the following statement in response to recent efforts in the U.S. Senate to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force:
Nearly 16 years to the day after Congress first passed it, today’s vote in the Senate shows that momentum is building to cancel the President’s blank check for endless war.
While the Senate today rejected an effort led by Sen. Rand Paul to repeal the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, it’s clear that our representatives in Congress are beginning to recognize that after nearly two decades, the conflicts we are currently fighting have a tenuous connection to the laws that are used to authorize them.
Indeed, lawmakers applauded when an amendment to repeal and replace the 2001 AUMF was included in a House defense spending bill in June, only to have House Speaker Paul Ryan strip the measure at the last hour.
Even our military leaders are on board with updating the AUMF. “Let’s face it,” retired general and former CIA Director David Petraeus said earlier this year about the 2001 AUMF, “we have stretched this beyond all recognition.”
Throughout the past 16 years, three different presidents have had a blank check to wage wars around the world. It’s time for all members of Congress to accept their responsibility and finally provide proper oversight of these wars. As soldiers today prepare to go to war under authorization that Congress passed when they were in diapers, Congress must finally do its job.
If Congress can’t even be bothered to vote on whether we should be in war, then we have no business sending young men and women to die fighting in it.