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US House Withdraws Approval for War in Iraq After Two Decades

The US House of Representatives has withdrawn its approval for the war in Iraq after nearly 20 years. Critics say the resolution has been used as a license to conduct military operations for which it was never intended.


The resolution dates back to 2002 and authorized then-President George W. Bush to deploy the military against Iraq. The US then invaded that country and overthrew dictator Saddam Hussein. According to the Bush administration, his regime had weapons of mass destruction, but they were not found after the invasion.

President Barack Obama withdrew US troops from Iraq in 2011. Nevertheless, the 2002 resolution has also been used in recent years, such as legal support for the fight against the Islamic State and in the killing of the powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

“Our endless war has cost trillions of dollars and thousands of lives to this day,” said Democratic politician Barbara Lee, who has campaigned for years for the resolution to be repealed. “That war also goes far beyond what Congress envisioned.”

Both Democrats and Republicans voted Thursday to withdraw the resolution. There were 268 votes in favour and 161 against. The White House also thought that the “outdated” war resolution could be scrapped. According to the government of Democrat Joe Biden, this probably has little influence on the current deployment of military personnel in Iraq. The Senate has yet to rule on it.

Some politicians have also been trying for years to get rid of a similar resolution from 2001 that gave the White House sweeping powers to hunt down those responsible for the bloody attacks of September 11, 2001. Successive administrations have opposed it withdraw that resolution.

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