Terminate the 2002 War Authorization in Iraq
February 12, 2007
Terminate the 2002
Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq
and Require Congress to Reauthorize Military Operations in Iraq
Co-Sponsor H.R. 930, the "Military Success in Iraq and
Diplomatic Surge for Peace, Justice, and Success in Iraq Act of 2007"
I write to invite you to join me as a co-sponsor of a bill I recently introduced, H.R. 930, the "Military Success in Iraq and Diplomatic Surge for Peace, Justice, and Success in Iraq Act of 2007," ("MSIA"). This legislation will deliver America from Iraq by ending American military involvement in Iraq, redeploying American troops out of Iraq, and launching a major diplomatic surge for political and national reconciliation in Iraq as recommended by the Iraq Study Group, chaired by former Secretary of State James A. Baker and 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Lee Hamilton. Under my legislation, an up-or-down vote must be held by the House and Senate to continue waging war in Iraq.
The Armed Forces of the United States have performed magnificently. They won the war they were sent to fight. Blaming the chaos in Iraq on our military is like blaming the Continental Army for the outbreak of the Civil War. In each case, the armed forces did their jobs - they won the war they were sent to fight; in each case, it was the civilian leadership that failed to win or maintain the peace.
What is needed now is a paradigm shift. Rather than undertaking a misguided and futile surge in troops, the United States should surge diplomatically. That is what H.R. 930 requires.
1. Military Success in Iraq Act
Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq Resolution of
2002 passed by Congress was not a declaration of war but
rather a blank check for the president to start and wage war
in Iraq at a time, place, and manner of his choosing. It is
time to rescind that blank check and return to first
principles. H.R. 930 achieves this by:
• declaring that the objectives which led Congress to pass the 2002 AUMF have been achieved;
• providing that whenever the objectives set forth in an AUMF have been achieved, the AUMF expires automatically;
• providing that Congress has the ultimate and final word in determining whether the objectives set forth in its AUMF have been achieved;
• containing a congressional determination that the objectives set forth in the 2002 AUMF objectives have been achieved and determines that the authorization to use force conferred upon the President by the AUMF has expired;
• requiring the President to obtain a new authorization to continue the use of force in Iraq; and
• providing that if the Congress does not vote to reauthorize the use of force in Iraq by October 1, 2007, then all American armed forces in Iraq must be redeployed out of Iraq.
Thus, under H.R. 930, an up-or-down vote
must be held by the House and Senate to continue waging war
2. Diplomatic Surge for Political and National Reconciliation in Iraq
930 also requires the United States to a new offensive on
the diplomatic front. The second title of H.R. 930, the
"Diplomatic Surge for Justice, Peace, and Success Act of
2007," implements twelve of the most important
recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, headed by former
Secretary of State James A. Baker and 9/11 Co-Chairman Lee
Hamilton, by launching a diplomatic full-court press
designed to achieve two crucial objectives:
• To bring about political and national reconciliation in Iraq, H.R. 930 requires the President to appoint a Special Envoy for National and Political Reconciliation in Iraq ("SENPRI"), who shall undertake the peaceful reconciliation of the major stakeholders in a free and democratic Iraq, particularly the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The SENPRI shall meet with such persons, organizations, and entities, and make such recommendations as he deems necessary and expedient for bringing about national and political reconciliation in Iraq, including recommending the assistance of a bona fide international peacekeeping force where necessary.
• To engage all six of Iraq's neighbors - Iran, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait - more constructively in stabilizing Iraq. While their interests and ours are not identical, none of these countries wants to live with an Iraq that, after our redeployment, becomes a failed state or a humanitarian catastrophe that could become a haven for terrorists or a hemorrhage of millions of more refugees streaming into their countries.
Launching a diplomatic offensive to bring about political and national reconciliation in Iraq instead of a military surge that will take us deeper into a quagmire is not just an alternative strategy. It's a strategic imperative. That is why I invite you to co-sponsor H.R. 930. Strategic redeployment of our armed forces is needed in order to rebuild our nation's fighting capabilities and renew our critical fight in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Very Truly Yours,
Sheila Jackson Lee
Member of Congress