US to Send 450 More Troops to Iraq, Yet Congress Refuses to Authorize War

first_imgThe lack of a clear strategic end-game was crystallized by the administration’s decision to bolster the US troop presence in Iraq, just as ISIS has claimed more territory. In a conference call with reporters last week, a transcript of which was posted online, US officials asserted that the additional 450 troops would help train and “advise and assist” Iraqi security forces at Taqaddum military base in eastern Anbar Province. Troops will not be placed into ground combat, officials said. “The intent of the additional site is to provide personnel to assist with planning, integration, logistics, and support to the Iraqi security forces and tribal forces as they fight to retake Ramadi and Fallujah, and ultimately all throughout Anbar,” said Elissa Slotkin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.As more troops head overseas to assist the Iraqi army, US Congress remains non-committal with respect to authorizing the ISIS war. US troops and the American people are left to wait and see if its elected lawmakers act on their oath to discharge the duties of their office. Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was more than three years ago when the last remaining US service members were withdrawn from Iraq, capping a devastating nine-year war that saw more than 4,000 Americans casualties and countless survivors suffering traumatic physical and psychological wounds. As a war-weary American public is all-too aware, US troops have returned to Iraq to assist a seemingly dysfunctional Iraq army in what has now become a 10-month battle against the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The number of troops there grew last week when the Obama administration—following a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi—authorized the deployment of 450 US troops, bringing to 3,550 the total number of US soldiers in Iraq. The administration’s decision to bolster the number of troops in the war-torn country follows troubling advances by ISIS, most notably its recent takeover of Ramadi, the capital of western Anbar Province. This time last year, ISIS routed the Iraqi army and claimed Mosul, which Iraqi security forces have failed to retake.While troops were preparing to embark on another mission in Iraq, albeit in an advisory role, Congress was offered the opportunity to vote on an amendment added to a defense appropriations bill that would’ve forced lawmakers to authorize the war against ISIS. That amendment failed to pass. For the last 10 months, the US has been fighting a war that has yet to be authorized by Congress, the only branch of government with the power to approve war. The Obama administration has been relying on a pair of post-Sept. 11 war authorizations—the 2001 AUMF and 2002 AUMF—to justify its war on ISIS. The administration often evokes those versions to validate its borderless drone war and to explain why it had the authority to kill a US citizen-turned-radical cleric in Yemen. The 2001 AUMF, drafted in the days following Sept. 11, in particular has been blasted by civil liberty groups as overbroad. That version gave President George W. Bush the authority to defend the nation against the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks, meaning al Qaeda. ISIS didn’t exist then. And although it was born out of the terror network, al Qaeda has since disavowed the group, partly due to its brutality. After Congress decided not to act in the months preceding the mid-term elections, the Obama administration proposed its own AUMF, which would remain in effect for three years. Yet, as US Secretary of State John Kerry explained in one of the few debates on Obama’s war authorization, the administration doesn’t believe it needs Congress’ legal endorsement. The Obama AUMF is essentially a symbolic move to ostensibly show the international community that US lawmakers, the military, and the executive branch are united in the effort to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. One day after Obama authorized the troop build-up, Congress was in session, debating a defense appropriations bill. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) proposed an amendment that would’ve required Congress to vote on war authorization by March 31, 2016. If Congress failed to do so, funding for the ISIS war would’ve halted immediately. The amendment failed by a 196-231 vote. Long Island’s Congressional delegation voted along party lines, with Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-St. Albans), and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) voting in favor of the amendment. LI’s GOP contingent, Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), voted no. “If this is worth fighting ISIS, and I believe it is, it’s worth having Congress do its job,” Schiff said during his floor speech. “If we’re going to ask our service members to risk their lives, we ought to have the courage ourselves to take a vote on this war.” Schiff accused Congress of being “derelict” and slammed his colleagues for abdicating their duties. “During the course of that war, we have put our pilots and other service members at considerable risk and we have suffered casualties,” Schiff said. “We’ve expended hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. And as yet there is no end in sight to this conflict.”last_img read more

Wilfried Zaha posts cryptic tweet after Arsenal’s £40m transfer bid is rejected

first_img Top articles Full Screen Read More SPONSORED Arsenal’s opening bid of £40m for Wilfried Zaha was turned down by Crystal Palace (Picture: Getty)Wilfried Zaha has got Arsenal fans talking with a cryptic tweet amid speculation that he could be set for a move to the Emirates this summer.Arsenal have had a bid of £40million rejected for Zaha, with Crystal Palace holding out for a fee of around £70m for the 26-year-old forward.Unai Emery has a tight transfer budget following the Gunners’ failure to secure Champions League qualification, but they have not given up hope of signing Zaha just yet.While Palace were reportedly left ‘furious’ and ‘incensed’ by the opening offer, Arsenal are already lining up their next move to lure Zaha from south to north London..AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT 1/1 Coming Next Video Settings Ian Wright is confident Zaha would be a ‘magnificent’ signing for his former club this summer.‘We’re trying to get Wilfried Zaha, which would be magnificent,’ Wright told The South China Morning Post.‘You want competition for places. Defensively, I think everyone can agree, we need some strength in there.More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves‘You can always strengthen in the midfield. Aaron Ramsey’s gone.‘We need that midfielder who is going to join the front guys and try to contribute with goals.‘Goals is a premium so you always want to be linked with a striker that might be able to come and help.’MORE: PSG want Arsenal target Malcom as part of deal to send Neymar back to Barcelona Read More Advertisement PLAY Read More It’s no secret that Zaha grew up supporting Arsenal and his brother, Judicael, has pleaded with Palace to let the attacker seal his ‘dream’ transfer.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityIn a tweet on Saturday, Zaha appeared upset with the constant speculation of people speaking for and about him – but it’s not clear who specifically the message was aimed at.‘Whatever happened to speaking facts?’ the Ivory Coast international told his followers.‘Its sad and annoying how anyone will just open their mouth and speak on things or situations they know absolutely nothing about.’ Skip Rio Ferdinand tells Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop struggling center_img Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Advertisement Skip Ad About Connatix V67539 Zaha is currently on international duty with the Ivory Coast at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and scored in the side’s 4-1 victory over Namibia on Monday.Speaking ahead of the Ivory Coast’s last-16 clash with Mali, Zaha refused to rule out a move to Arsenal in the coming weeks.Asked about Arsenal’s failed £40m offer, Zaha told On Sport: ‘I have no comment on it. The only thing that’s on my mind right now is trying to win this cup [AFCON].’Pushed on whether he would like to play for Arsenal, he replied: ‘I don’t know… we’ll see in the future.’ 1 min. story / by Metro Read More Metro Sport ReporterSaturday 6 Jul 2019 4:49 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link782Shares Read More Manchester United captain Harry Maguire Comment Wilfried Zaha posts cryptic tweet after Arsenal’s £40m transfer bid is rejectedlast_img read more