The White House announced Friday that President Biden intends to attempt to reign in the ability of US Presidents to launch new 'open-ended' foreign wars by working with Congress in repealing war authorizations which have given the executive immense unilateral power since 9/11. However, it's clearly in reality an attempt at after-the-fact PR damage control.
Politico cited a statement it received from press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the admin will "ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars."
Ironically, the announcement comes just a week after Biden ordered airstrikes on eastern Syria on the night of Feb.25, which cited some of the very war authorizations the White House is now claiming to be against. The strikes which were ostensibly in 'retaliation' against Iranian militias were immediately met with deep criticism and suspicion among a sizeable segment of the American population, and outrage in Congress over lack of authorization.
The attack on Syria reportedly left multiple militants dead and wounded, with days later multiple news sources saying the commander-in-chief had actually called off a second intended strike at the last moment due to the presence on civilians on the ground.
So while Psaki and the White House are perhaps suddenly noticing the popularity of condemning the forever wars, Americans are rightly worried that Biden's actions in Syria and Iraq will take us back into a renewed regime change war quagmire in Syria (which to a large degree is already a reality given the US military occupation of Syria's Deir Ezzor and Hasakeh).
Indeed Politico confirms that Biden is reacting to immense pushback in Congress, even from within his own party, in the wake of his Syria strikes:
"The olive branch to Capitol Hill marks the first time as president that Biden has publicly endorsed jettisoning resolutions passed by Congress a generation ago that have been used to justify military operations in places few envisioned at the time. The AUMFs include one passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and another passed in the fall of 2002 ahead of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
It comes just two days after a bipartisan group of senators, led by Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), introduced a bill to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force and one passed in 1991 ahead of the first Iraq War."
Not lost on these Congressional leaders as well as much of the public is the fact that a little over a month into his term, Biden became no less than the third consecutive president to bomb Syria.
A U.S. airstrike in Syria targeted facilities belonging to a powerful Iranian-backed Iraqi armed group, killing one fighter and wounding several others, an Iraqi militia official said Friday. https://t.co/kcgiK0Vf3v— KLBK News (@KLBKNews) February 26, 2021
"Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the executive branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers," said Democratic Senator Tim Kaine.
Politico continues on the tide of bipartisan anger, nothing "Senators proposed the measure amid bipartisan anger over Biden’s decision to launch retaliatory airstrikes against Iran-backed militia groups in Syria last week without first seeking congressional approval."
There's also deepening concerns over a potential near-future war with Iran as Biden's prior vow to restore participation in the JCPOA nuclear deal falters. Congress wants to reign in the White House's ability to conduct more strikes that could but Washington on the path to major war before it's too late.