Boston (February 26, 2021) – Senator Edward J. Markey, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to U.S. air strikes carried out yesterday in Syria.
“I am concerned that yesterday’s strike by the United States in Syria is a continuation of a generation of presidential overreach in the use of military force,” said Senator Markey. “Our Constitution and laws give Congress, not the President, the exclusive powers to authorize military force and declare war. But President Trump, as well as his predecessors, made it repeated practice to stretch the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force and asserted broad Article II authority to justify hostilities not just against al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein, but against actors in all corners of the world. President Biden has an opportunity to move away from endless intervention in the Middle East by coming to Congress before taking military action and joining me and many of my colleagues’ call to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.
“The Biden administration has already signaled a sharp departure from Trump’s doctrine of ‘maximum pressure,’ a policy which had further fueled provocative actions by Iran and its proxies against U.S. and partner forces. My Iran Diplomacy Act supports the Biden team’s efforts to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal, charting a path away from war and the cycle of tit-for-tat attacks in the region. A return of all sides to their commitments under the Deal would not only take the existential risk of an Iranian nuclear weapon off the table, it would provide momentum to address the other myriad threats from Tehran.”