U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), today participated in a committee hearing on his bipartisan legislation to repeal the 1991 and 2002 Iraq Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs).
The witnesses included Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman; Mr. Richard Visek, Acting Legal Adviser for the U.S. Department of State; and Ms. Caroline Krass, the General Counsel for the Department of Defense.
At the beginning of his questioning, Senator Young asked Deputy Secretary Sherman if the United States is still at war with the government of Iraq as it states in the 2002 AUMF. The Secretary responded we are not, and continued to say Iraq is a sovereign government and we have a strategic partnership with them.
“As you know, the regime of Saddam Hussein was removed in 2003 pursuant to the terms of the [2002 AUMF] and Saddam Hussein was brought to justice by brave American servicemen and women and by some of the Iraqi people. The government of Iraq is now a partner. They’re not an enemy of the United States,” said Senator Young during the hearing.
In June, Senator Young released a statement announcing the forthcoming vote to repeal these outdated authorities. The 1991 AUMF gave the President of the United States the authority to use force against Iraq to enforce a series of U.N. Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs) passed in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Later, with the 2002 AUMF, Congress authorized the President to use U.S. armed forces against the Saddam Hussein regime as “necessary and appropriate” to “defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq” and to “enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”
As a Marine, Senator Young has advocated for a new AUMF since coming to the Senate in January 2017. Senator Young introduced legislation to authorize the use of force against ISIS. He and Senator Kaine also introduced a bipartisan bill to repeal the 1991 and 2002 AUMFs for the Gulf and Iraq wars – 28 and 17 years after these AUMFs were first passed, reasserting Congress’ vital role in not only declaring wars, but in ending them.
To view Senator Young’s remarks, click here.