Based on the mistaken belief that the Iraqi government had developed weapons of mass destruction, the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein, which happened that same year. The war and U.S. occupation has unleashed sectarian violence, strengthened Iran, and cost the lives of over 4,500 American servicemembers and nearly 2 trillion taxpayer dollars.
Our troops have served valiantly, and with our main objectives long ago met, it dishonors their service and the will of the American people to continue a fruitless nation-building exercise that does not make us safer or more prosperous.
Congress should reassert itself in its duty to authorize and oversee military action, resetting the constitutional balance of war powers. Leaving war-making decisions entirely to the executive branch makes it more likely that “forever wars” continue without critical reflection on our strategy and vital national interests. Outdated authorizations, like the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, should be repealed.