White House officials say that President Obama is in favor of Congressional action to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq, the law which green-lit the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The last US occupation forces left Iraq in 2011, and Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) tried back then to repeal the authorization unsuccessfully. Administration officials say that since the war is over they have no objection to repealing, but they also say it isn’t a “top priority”.
The law may seem on the surface to be little more than an historical curiosity at this point, but while it makes heavy reference to not liking Saddam Hussein, the language of the law simply allows the president to invade Iraq “as he determines to be necessary and appropriate.”
The recent internal conflicts in Iraq, including al-Qaeda’s capture of the entire city of Fallujah, have hawks calling for the US to “save” the Maliki government militarily, and the AUMF effectively means that if the president had a mind to, he could reinvade Iraq at a moment’s notice on any pretext.