The September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force passed, understandably, overwhelmingly. It is short legislation. It was almost designed to be a blank check – 7 days after the September 11th attacks, who knew what needed to be done? Of course, this set up the bonfire of our eternal presence in the Middle East, namely Iraq.
Who would have thunk it justification for our involvement, 17 years later, in a War on Yemen and Syria. (Rand Paul’s effort last year to revisit the authorization in the powers was defeated 61-38 in the Senate.)
The Wall Street Journal showed some of the architectural and cultural destruction today. The New York Times covered graphically some of the human destruction a few months ago.
What the hell is the US strategy in the region? Give Iran power in Syria but not Yemen? What is the point where the losses and damages are enough? What is the opportunity costs of trillions of dollars even if the strategy was coherent?
Trump is incapable of any act of managerial excellence. Withdrawing from Syria precipitously is maybe a short term mistake. However, it is directionally correct. For the US to still be helping making the world safe for Saudi feudalism almost forty years after the first Gulf War, is incomprehensible to me.
If it is comprehensible to Congress they need to vote on it.