LEADING NATIONAL SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS APPLAUD BIPARTISAN HOUSE VOTE TO CHECK MILITARY ENGAGEMENT IN IRAQ
Washington DC – July 25, 2014 – News Release – Today, Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation praised an overwhelming vote in the House of Representatives to require approval by Congress of expanded military involvement in Iraq. This was the first congressional expression of view on another potential war in that country.
The vote was 370 to 40.
This measure, negotiated by leaders of both parties at a time when the two parties barely agree on the time of day, should send a strong, bipartisan message to the White House that Congress will assert its Constitutional role in matters of military involvement overseas.
It also signifies significant reluctance to rush into another war after nearly thirteen years of conflict in Afghanistan, as well as two wars in Iraq: Desert Storm in 1990-91 and George W. Bush’s war that lasted from 2003 to 2011. The vote came on H. Con. Res. 105, originally introduced by Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA), Walter Jones (R-NC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).
Last month, in response to military aggression by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), President Obama announced that 300 personnel would be sent to Iraq, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, augmented by Apache attack helicopters and drones. A few days later, he announced another 200 personnel were soon to be deployed.
The Wall Street Journal reports there are now 825 U.S. military personnel in country.
Angela Canterbury, Executive Director of the Council and Center, called today’s vote:
“A repudiation of proposals to expand the American troops presence in Iraq into the middle of a civil war. Americans are war weary and opposed to another futile military escalation in the Middle East. This time, Congress got the message: no rush to war. I hope President Obama gets it, too.”
Added John Isaacs, the Council and Center’s Senior Fellow:
“As the United States knows from the very recent past, our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan has done nothing to fix the deep-seated, sectarian conflicts.”
Lt. General (USA, Ret.) Robert G. Gard, Jr., Chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, concluded:
“Vietnam began as a small military engagement that escalated into a major military war was disastrous for the United States. What we should have learned from the Vietnam experience, and what the recent collapse of Iraqi troops confirms, is that the legitimacy of the parent government and its institutions is as necessary to success in combat as well-trained troops. Anything less is a recipe for failure.”
####The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington-based non-profit think tank working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled across the globe, increase international nonproliferation programs targeted at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, redirect U.S. military spending to address 21st century security threats and halt the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. www.armscontrolcenter.org