To end the Forever War, we must rescind the Carter Doctrine.

Air Force Senior Airman Henry Nokes secures a section of airfield outside a C-130H Hercules in Qayyarah, Iraq, Feb. 4, 2017. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jordan Castelan.

This post was also published on SubStack.

MICHIGAN, USA (Notes from Nowhere) — In line with his promise to end the Forever War, President Joe Biden has been working with congress to sunset all of the AUMF’s associated with our military actions in the Middle East, and the House passed a measure to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, in June.

Chuck Schumer promised that the bill would get a floor vote in the Senate, but the measure was stripped from the NDAA-2022 by committee, and tossed down a dark hole.

Some dismiss the effort to repeal the 2002 AUMF as a performative empty gesture, since it authorized a war that we’re no longer fighting, and because the Biden administration has stated that there isn’t anything that we are currently doing in the Middle East or Northern Africa that depends on it.

But, the 2002 AUMF isn’t just about the Iraq War. It serves as an integral part of the legislative web that perpetuates the Forever War, by codifying the Carter Doctrine.

“Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

— President Jimmy Carter (1980 State of the Union Address)


Recommended Reading: America’s War for the Greater Middle East.


The Breakdown

Section 3 authorizes the president to use our military, however he (or she) deems necessary and appropriate, to defend our national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions regarding Iraq.

Section 4 expands the umbrella of what would be considered ‘necessary and appropriate’ military force to include, “… actions described in section 7 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998“: Post-war assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals.

Assistance for Iraq upon replacement of Saddam Hussein Regime.

It is the sense of the Congress that once the Saddam Hussein regime is removed from power in Iraq, the United States should support Iraq’s transition to democracy by providing immediate and substantial humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people, by providing democracy transition assistance to Iraqi parties and movements with democratic goals

The final whereas paragraph of the bill further expands that umbrella geographically, to cover the entire Persian Gulf region (which includes Iran).

“Whereas it is in the national security interests of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region.”

The 2002 AUMF codifies our dominance over the Persian Gulf region as a national security interest, and provides our armed services with a mindless standing order to promote, secure, and preserve our sphere of influence in the Middle East, by any means necessary, and often at the expense of our actual national security. It can be, and has been, broadly used to circumvent congress for an endless chain of unjustifiable military events, to advance Cold War doctrine that often conflicts with our contemporary geopolitical goals. And it commits us to doing this… forever.

Call to Action:

Please call or write your Senators to let them know we want a floor vote on S.J.Res. 10: A joint resolution to repeal the authorizations for use of military force against Iraq, before the end of the 117th congressional session.