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Iraq War vets held up their end of the bargain. When will Congress do the same?

US Military Helicopters with Soldier on Patrol

By Concerned Veterans for America

Roseanne Rodriguez knows the Iraq War well. She served as a combat medic in Mosul in its early years, experiencing the worst of war alongside incredible soldiers.

Rodriguez recently wrote in the Virginian-Pilot that her experiences in Iraq and transitioning back to civilian life have caused her to take a critical look at the state of operations there.

My assessment brings me to one clear conclusion: We as soldiers held up our end of the bargain, often at the expense of our bodies and minds. Congress has not held up its end, relinquishing its war power responsibility and dodging difficult decisions.

The 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force was passed by Congress in the lead up to the Iraq War, giving broad war powers to the executive branch.

Since then, Congress has given little oversight over the war, happy to let the status quo continue.  “Congress has surrendered its say – and constitutional responsibility – by allowing outdated AUMFs to stay on the books” Rodriguez says.

A Senate committee recently voted to repeal the 2002 AUMF, but there are still hurdles to get over before the authorization can officially be repealed.

Congress is responsible not just for fulfilling its duties over war powers, but for keeping troops out of unnecessary danger. Our troops did their job in Iraq. It’s time for Congress to follow suit.

You can read the rest of Rodriguez’s piece in the Virginian-Pilot.