This Week in the World: The Iraq War Authorization Turns 18

Today marks 18 years since the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which sent us to war with Iraq, was signed in to law.

Congress passed the 2002 Iraq AUMF to authorize military action against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime. That mission formally ended in 2011. Yet the authorization remains on the books, and successive presidents have stretched its scope to cover unrelated military engagements that were not authorized, let alone, contemplated, by Congress 18 years ago.

Leaving it in place ensures that the authorization remains susceptible to misuse. We saw this in practice as recently as January 2020, when the Trump administration claimed that the 2002 Iraq AUMF authorized its assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

FCNL This Week in the World: The Iraq War Authorization Turns 18