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ACTION ALERT: Stop the Authorization for the Use of Military Force


February 23, 2015
Code Pink & Hon. Keith Ellision / US House of Representatives & Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton / Vote for Vets

In its post-2001 "war on terror," the US has conducted military operations in at least six countries. Yet the Middle East and Africa are plagued by violence, failed governments, and armed fighters seeking to impose their extremist views. Congressional approval of Obama's request for this AUMF implies that US citizens want a new, open-ended war in the region. Rep. Barbara Lee points out that "National security experts have clearly stated that there is no military solution to ISIL"

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Wedded to War?! Stop the Authorization for the Use of Military Force
Code Pink

(February 20, 2015) -- In its post-2001 "war on terror", the United States has conducted military operations in at least six countries. Yet the Middle East is plagued by violence, failed governments, and armed fighters seeking to impose their extremist views. How much more evidence do we need that War Is Not The Answer to terrorism?

Six months after the US began bombing ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, President Obama is asking Congress to pass a new Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) to provide legal cover as he continues the bombing.

This is an authorization that has no geographical limits, keeps the Bush-Era 2001 AUMF intact, would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, and "sets the war table" for the next president by providing authorization for military action for at least the next three years.

Contact your Senators and your Representative now at 202-224-3121 to say NO to a new AUMF and read CODEPINK's point-by-point analysis on why this AUMF request should be denied!

It's important to denounce ISIL's barbaric crimes and provide help to people in the region. At the same time, we must recognize that some of these same horrific acts shown daily on mainstream TV news, such as beheadings and persecution of minorities, are committed regularly by our ally Saudi Arabia and other regimes supported by the US government. US military intervention only leads to MORE violence and recruits new extremists.

Congressional approval of Obama's request for this AUMF implies that US citizens want a new, open-ended war in the region. The Congressional Progressive Caucus states that "the authorization proposed by the president this week is too broad." [See full statement below -- EAW]

Congresswoman Barbara Lee points out that "National security experts have clearly stated that there is no military solution to ISIL" and urges "a comprehensive diplomatic, political, economic and regionally-led strategy" to the joint tragedies in Iraq and Syria.

Urge your representatives to join Congresswoman Lee in opposing endless war. Call 202-224-3121 (a 24-hour # reaching the entire Congress).

Seeking real solutions,
Alli, Anna, Janet, Jodie, Katie, Kristin, Medea, Nalini, Nancy, Nathan, Sergei, Sophia and Tighe



Progressive Caucus Statement on
President Obama's AUMF Proposal

Hon. Keith Ellision / US House of Representatives

WASHINGTON (February 13, 2015) -- Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) and CPC Peace and Security Task Force Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement today in response to President Obama's proposal for an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL

"The devastating and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us that when we give military authority to the executive, it should not be a blank check. Prolonged military action requires robust debate and authorization from Congress, so we are glad that President Obama has presented a proposal. One of Congress's most important roles is to declare war, and an AUMF is a declaration of war.

"Unfortunately, the authorization proposed by the president this week is too broad. In order to ensure meaningful limits on executive branch authority, an AUMF should at a minimum contain a clear objective and geographical limitations.

It should also include an enforceable ban on the deployment of ground troops with exception for only the most limited of operations, unambiguous language, and a repeal of the 2001 AUMF.

"The Administration has argued that the 2001 AUMF, which was designed to declare war on Al Qaeda and the Taliban shortly after the attacks of 9/11 but has since been broadly applied more than 30 times, provides the legal authority for any existing and future operations against ISIL.

Until Congress declares that the 2001 AUMF does not apply to ISIL, any limitations or restrictions in the AUMF proposed by the president are irrelevant.

"An AUMF debated by Congress should also be comprehensive, and include the political, economic, and diplomatic solutions that will ultimately degrade and dismantle ISIL. We should work to cut the flow of money, weapons, and fighters to ISIL. We should push the United Nations to start negotiations to end the Syrian civil war. Most importantly, we should ensure that our humanitarian aid is not eclipsed by our military efforts.

"In the coming weeks, the Congressional Progressive Caucus will be holding hearings and meetings on the AUMF. One thing is clear now: the conflict in Syria and Iraq requires a comprehensive solution. ISIL's barbaric tactics are designed to pull the United States into another endless conflict. We must provide careful consideration to an AUMF, but lasting peace and stability will only come with a regional political solution."

The Congressional Progressive Caucus led the fight for calling for Congressional debate on the use of force against ISIL. In the 113th Congress, the CPC introduced H. Con. Res. 114, which called for debate and a vote on any US sustained combat role against ISIL, supported a ban on the deployment of combat ground troops, and argued that any AUMF must be narrowly tailored and include robust reporting requirements.

CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Chair Barbara Lee recently introduced the Comprehensive Solutions to ISIL Act, which would ensure that the Administration pursues a comprehensive strategy to degrade and dismantle ISIL, repeals the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs, bars the deployment of combat ground troops, and requires the Administration to submit to Congress a "comprehensive diplomatic, political, economic and regionally-led strategy."



No to Unconstitutional War Powers: No to the AUMF
Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton / Vote for Vets

As written, Congress must vote against President Obama's proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to take on ISIS.

First of all, the president should be applauded for coming to Congress and seeking new authority for a campaign that started several months ago. For too long, the legislature has abdicated its responsibility to assert its voice on this issue, and it's far past time for them to debate, and vote, on a new AUMF.

But the authorization proposed by the president is too broad, and leaves too much room from drawn-out combat missions.

"The authority granted in subsection (a) does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations."

From a military point of view, the phrase "enduring offensive ground operations" is meaningless. It's so broad that anything could be construed to not fall under that description. Both of us have served in a protracted war in Iraq, under a resolution that was extremely broad and ill-defined. We can tell you, things can quickly spiral out of control when there are no limits.

For that reason, VoteVets cannot support the authorization submitted to Congress by President Obama. Let us know if you agree.

There are a number of positive elements to the authorization request that should not be dismissed without consideration. The president should praised for his attempt to repeal the 2003 authorization used for the war in Iraq . . . and for sunsetting this new authorization after three years. It's also clear that he is willing to accept limitations to the efforts of which he commits our military.

However, on the most important limit -- the limit on types of operations our ground troops can be committed too -- the language is too broad.

So, we must oppose the proposed AUMF in it's current form. Let us know if you agree: http://action.votevets.org/isis-aumf

Thank you very much for reading. After you've sounded off on this issue, please share this email with your family and friends.

All the best,
Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton
Iraq War Veteran and Chairman
VoteVets.org

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

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