Issue Position: Repealing the Doctrine of Preemption & Unilateralism

Issue Position

By:  John Larson
Location: Unknown

Issue Position: Repealing the Doctrine of Preemption & Unilateralism

Public Law 107-243, which authorized the use of force in Iraq also reflected the President's policies of preemption and unilateralism. The Bush Doctrine of preemption and unilateralism is contrary to our long-held policies of diplomacy, deterrence, and containment. These policies have left the United States with an open-ended and ill-defined occupation of a country in the middle of a civil war.

Unlike the Weinberger Doctrine or the Powell Doctrine, the Bush Doctrine has lead the United States to war without the troop levels or strategy needed to secure a post-invasion Iraq. The Weinberger Doctrine, developed under U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger in 1984, states that the United States should use military force only if it is a vital national interest and only with clearly defined political and military goals. The Powell Doctrine, outlined by General Colin Powell prior to the Gulf War in the 1990s, states that if the United States is to use military force it should be a "overwhelming" military force.

The Solution

March 2007 marks the fourth year of "Operation Iraqi Freedom." It is time to reverse the irresponsible Bush Doctrine of preemption and unilateralism, reestablish diplomacy and refocus our energy and resources on Afghanistan.

I have introduced H.R. 1292 to:

* Repeal the use of force given to President Bush by Congress in 2002. By repealing President Bush's authority in Iraq, the bill calls for a new vote in Congress that reflects the current situation in Iraq.
* Reverse President Bush's Doctrine of preemption and unilateralism. It urges Congress to return to policies of diplomacy, deterrence and containment.
* Intensify diplomatic relations. Inline with the Iraq Study Group Report, this bill urges the United States to intensify diplomatic relations that will provide the proper external environment and support for the difficult internal steps that the Government of Iraq should take to promote national reconciliation. It calls on the United States to increase efforts to engage all neighboring countries and the League of Arab States to help promote stability in Iraq.
* Establish a "quick reaction" force in the Middle East. The bill urges Congress to establish a quick-reaction U.S. military force with an over-the-horizon presence in the region to respond to security threats in the Middle East.
* Redirect attention to America's forgotten war in Afghanistan. Specifically, the bill calls for increased diplomatic, economic and military support to Afghanistan, where the Taliban continues to destabilize the region.
* Reaffirm our commitment to provide humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the Iraqis.
* Aggressively pursue terrorists. Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations continue to pose an imminent threat to our homeland and our interests abroad.

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