Proposal for the New Year: Training Wheels for Peace

As you may have been recently reminded by my Twitter stream, I have been obsessing for years about the Iraq AUMF lying around, like Chekov’s gun waiting to be used, for years.

Which is why I’m rather chuffed that Yahoo News got Obama’s National Security Spokesperson on the record claiming that the President supports getting rid of that loaded gun, even if that “symbolic act” isn’t a priority.

“The Administration supports the repeal of the Iraq AUMF,” national security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told Yahoo News, referring to the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

Obama frequently cites the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq as one of his key foreign policy successes. He has repeatedly defended the pull-out, even as he pursues a strategy to leave only a residual force of maybe 8,000-10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014. His administration recently promised it would not put boots back on the ground in Iraq in response to the current bloody chaos that threatens its stability.

But leaving the Iraq military force authorization in place could probably come in handy if he, or a future president, wanted to send troops in.


But “the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and we therefore would fully support any move to repeal it,” a senior administration official told Yahoo News Tuesday. “However, we have not prioritized proactively seeking to repeal it, because the effect would be entirely symbolic and we have many more pressing priorities to take up with Congress.”

Of course, Presidential campaigns have been built largely on such “symbolic acts.”

Admittedly, Obama’s support for such a “symbolic act” would only be tested if Congress actually chose to repeal it (Yahoo notes that when the Senate defeated such a measure in 2011, the White House opposed attempts to repeal it).

So why not? This should be a no-brainer proposal both parties can back, repealing the authorization for a failed war that should never have been fought. Bipartisan lovey-dovey to end a war that started over a decade ago.

And you never know: Congress might discover it likes repealing wars. Start easy repealing an allegedly unused AUMF, then move onto bigger and better AUMFs.

Like training wheels to make peace.

7 replies
  1. bloodypitchfork says:

    quote”And you never know: Congress might discover it likes repealing wars.”unquote


    That’s almost as funny as you switching between NatSec and football. Training wheels…spare me.

  2. bloodypitchfork says:

    In fact..I can’t believe a person who is so regimented in a sphere that is effecting the entire planet, has the gall to even relegate a portion of their blog to the EXACT same monstrosity of ego driven macho bullshit as football, in the same breath.

  3. Evangelista says:

    I rather like symbolism and metaphor, so I reject the pure utilitarianism of Chekhov’s gun in favour of Coleridge’s albatross: Let Congress (and the U.S. military) wear its AUMF until the string breaks and it falls off of its own accord. It is especially apropos they should while debating budget issues, such as where the money all went and where from came the debt that is sinking the derelict hulk that once was the dreadnaught of the world, the United States. BULLETIN: Armed with sling-shots (all they can afford) the New United States Army take to the field in exercises against a prairie dog colony in South Dakota…

  4. john francis lee says:

    It’s not the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002

    The Iraq Resolution or the Iraq War Resolution (formally the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, Pub.L. 107–243, 116 Stat. 1498, enacted October 16, 2002, H.J.Res. 114) is a joint resolution passed by the United States Congress in October 2002 as Public Law No: 107-243, authorizing military action against Iraq.

    that needs repealing, it’s the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists

    The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Pub. L. 107-40, codified at 115 Stat. 224 and passed as S.J.Res. 23 by the United States Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizes the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks on September 11, 2001. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all “necessary and appropriate force” against those whom he determined “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was signed by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001.

    This ‘issue’ is a complete fraud.

    And repeal the Patriot Act and the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act too.

    And have a real Rogers Commission investigate 9/11. Richard Feynman, we need someone to fill your shoes.

    Roll-back and Re-do the 21st Century

  5. lefty665 says:

    Ya never know. With Al Qaeda raising its ugly head in Iraq (using weapons we gave them in Syria-WTF) that AUMF may come in handy. Might need to restart that war if Karzi runs us out of Afghanistan. Wouldn’t want to admit it has been a fools game from the beginning and go home.

  6. Frank33 says:

    Iran-Contra co-conspirator Robert Gates is not happy. Gates sold weapons to Iran and Irak, and used the profits to finance an off the shelf mercenary terrorist army, the Contras. But that is not enough for this ratfucker. He wants more wars, forever. And Congress and the President are not helping him create WWIII. Gates believes that Congress and the President are supposed to obey the Secret Government. That is, Congress and the President must obey Herr Gruppenfuhrer Gates. His own words prove he is one of the Great Villains in world history.

    Also, it does seem that Gates is insane, blaming others for his own failures, and he loves his wars.

    He was annoyed when elected Congress Kritters actually questioned his failures.

    I found myself sitting yet again at that witness table at yet another congressional hearing…there is no son of a bitch in the world who can talk to me like that.

    Gates is at war with everybody, including Irak, Afghanistan, and the USA. I blame Chimpie for selecting him.

    So why did I feel I was constantly at war with everybody? Why was I so often so angry? Why did I so dislike being back in government and in Washington?

    Gates is angry with the failures of Rumsfeld so he blames Rumsfeld, Obama and Biden. And I like to think he is angry with the defeatist bloggers.

    I was brought in to help salvage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—both going badly when I replaced Donald Rumsfeld in December 2006…

    His [Obama] fundamental problem in Afghanistan was that his political and philosophical preferences for winding down the U.S. role conflicted with his own pro-war public rhetoric…

    But if I had learned one useful lesson from Iraq, it was that progress depended on security for much of the population. This was why I could not sign onto Vice President Biden’s preferred strategy of reducing our presence in Afghanistan to rely on counterterrorist strikes from afar:

    He learned one and only one lesson from the Irak disaster. Gates does have kind words about Condi Rice, Stephen Hadley and Darth Cheney. This narrative only gets more bizarre as Gates describes in detail, how the Obama Administration was suspicious and critical of the military’s failures. I would guess Gates and the NSA were spying on both the President and Congress.

    And there is this.

    It was as though most members [of Congress] were in a permanent state of outrage or suffered from some sort of mental duress that warranted confinement or at least treatment for anger management.

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