Tags: Afghanistan | Iran | Iraq | ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | War on Terrorism

Sen. Kaine: 'Absolutely Critical' Congress Takes War Powers Back

tim kaine speaks during the senate armed services committee meeting
Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 October 2019 04:03 PM

The authorization for use of military force law passed in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks is not sufficient for covering fighting in Syria, and Congress, not the White House, should be responsible for declaring war there, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Tuesday.

"I introduced, actually I think it was in September or October of 2014, a specific anti-ISIS authorization for military force in Syria," Kaine told CNN's "New Day." "I recognize that we need to battle ISIS and make sure they're defeated, but I don't think the vote that Congress cast in September of 2001 really covers the wide engagements the U.S. has all over the world."

This means it is "absolutely critical" Congress takes the power to declare war back from the White House, Kaine said. 

Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, also slammed President Donald Trump for pulling troops out of northern Syria, as all of the advice the got would be that ISIS would reconstitute.

"Second, what message does it send when the U.S. pulls our troops away from people who have fought side-by-side with our troops on the battlefield?" Kaine said. "You see the deep disappointment in the Kurds, feeling like we've abandoned them."

It is also "deeply disturbing" for Trump to decide some troops would be left in Syria, but to protect oil fields but not the Kurds.

"If you abandon the Kurds now, what ally is going to trust the United States in the future when we need to battle terrorism when we need to battle threats?" Kaine said. "Who's going to be our ally if they think we're going to walk away from them?"

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Congress, not the White House, should be responsible for declaring war, according to Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
tim kaine, senate, congress, war powers, armed services comittee
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 04:03 PM
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