Trump and his administration’s shifting explanations in justifying the recent military actions launched against Iran, prompted two (2) House Democrats to pass resolutions aimed at curbing Trump’s authority as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces.
Members of the House of Representatives are poised to vote on the two proposed bills on Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Resolution to Restrain Unauthorized Use of Federal Funds for Launching Military Actions vs Iran
Democratic Representative Ro Khanna of California proposed a bill that bars the U.S. president from using federal funds in launching military offensives against Iran, without authorization from Congress; not unless the military action is an act of self-defense or a means to prevent an imminent strike against the U.S.
The Trump administration offered explanations that shifted from self-defense to imminent strike. Whereas initially, Trump was proud to announce that he ordered the drone strike that killed Iran’s Gen. Qasem Soleimani as an act of retaliation for the many deaths resulting from Soleimani’s support of proxy terrorist groups.
Both the Pentagon and Trump cited in particular the rocket attacks launched by Iraqi militia groups that killed an Iranian-American hired to render translation services for the U.S. The decision to launch the offensive relied on the basis of reports that the Iraqi militia groups are actually Iranian proxies, despite the Iranian government’s denial of such allegations.
It was only later when questions were raised about the Soleimani attack that Trump administration officials started offering explanations that it was for the purpose of warding off an imminent attack; albeit presented without proof. This claim was not even backed by the current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
Repeal of the 2003 Law that Gave the U.S. President Authority to Use Military Force in the Iraqi Invasion
Democratic Representative Barabra Lee, also from California, proposed repealing the 2003 legislation that gave the U.S. President authority to mobilize military forces in invading Iraq. Apparently, the administration that pushed for that legislation used it as justification for launching hostile attacks on the grounds of self-defense.
Similarly, officials of the Trump administration have also cited this law in support of Trump’s authority to approve the drone strike that killed Gen. Soleimani.