Authorization of Military Force (AUMF)

House Dems vote to repeal 9/11-era law in hopes of deterring war with Iran

Sec. of Stat Mike Pompeo speaking about attacks on oil tankers
Mike Pompeo. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Democrats voted to repeal 2001's Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Wednesday, which originally gave then-President George W. Bush the power to go to war with al-Qaeda and any related organization after 9/11, and could now justify a new war with Iran, reports Vox.

The big picture: The repeal is in direct response to allegations by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Iran has ties to al-Qaeda, according to the New York Times. Bipartisan legislators are nervous that the Trump administration is closing in on war with Iran as tensions with the Gulf nation continue to escalate, says Vox.

Expert Voices

Sudden U.S. troop exit from Syria would exacerbate regional instability

A Syrian Kurdish woman cries as she hugs the tombstone of a slain Syrian Democratic Forces fighter at a cemetery in the northeastern city of Qamishli
Tombstones of slain Syrian Democratic Forces fighters in Qamishli, Syria, Dec. 6. Photo: Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria reversed recent pledges by a wide range of senior administration officials to remain there indefinitely — including one just two weeks ago by his top Syria envoy, Ambassador James Jeffrey.

The big picture: Trump’s tweet and abrupt decision have taken key allies and many in his own administration by surprise. Aside from being based on a false premise — the Islamic State, or ISIS, is down in Syria, but not out — the decision could have major implications for Syria, the Middle East and broader U.S. foreign policy.