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Home / Press Release / White House Supports Repealing Iraq War Authority
January 07, 2014

White House Supports Repealing Iraq War Authority

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today praised the Obama Administration for supporting the repeal of the Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that led to the war in Iraq after 9/11. The support for the repeal came in an announcement made by National Security spokesperson Caitlin Hayden.

“While the move is mostly symbolic because the United States is not in an armed conflict in Iraq, it signals the reluctance of the administration to leave endless war authority on the books,” said Human Rights First’s Michael Quigley.

The administration’s call for repeal of the Iraq AUMF comes amid an uptick in violence in Iraq, and serves as a reminder that the most effective responses to extremist violence will rarely require the status of war, and counterterrorism efforts may even be hindered by a war footing. The administration’s statement also precedes a likely in debate in Congress on the status of the Afghanistan AUMF as the Obama Administration ends combat operations in the country later this year.  At the National Defense University last May, President Obama said he would work with Congress to revise or repeal the Afghanistan AUMF.

Most Americans are reluctant with good reason to extend the war to dozens of countries simply on the grounds of an al Qaeda-affiliated presence," Quigley said.  “The debate this year should focus on strategic counterterrorism measures that assure U.S. security with resort to war only as a last step.”

For more information or to speak with Quigley, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.

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