Last week, 19 years after its original enactment, the House overwhelmingly voted on a bipartisan basis to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force.
President Joe Biden voted for the 2002 AUMF before it was signed by President George W. Bush. It originally permitted the invasion of Iraq, but its broad language has been cited again and again to justify U.S. military action.
In fact, this AUMF and its 2001 sister authorization have been the gifts that keep on giving. They have justified every U.S. military adventure from Libya to Pakistan and from Syria to Somalia. Beginning with the actions of terrorists now long dead, these acts have been used to put U.S. troops in harm’s way for reasons that have little to do with the original attacks on the American homeland.
The wars of the 21st century have, over time, demonstrated their futility. As of 2021, U.S. involvement is a classic illustration of the fallacy of sunk costs.