Dear Senator Webb,
I am writing to
express strong support for H.R. 1585 Amendment No. 2208 proposed by Senators
Warner and Lugar. This proposed
amendment clearly addresses our and the international community's continued
interests in both Iraq
and the region as well as the changed conditions in that area which informed
the original AUMF. This legislative
course also reaffirms and strengthens Congressional authority and oversight in
matters of war by clearly addressing the original authorization rather than
budgetary issues alone. The Congress has
granted war powers. The President, as
Commander in Chief, has been acting under that authorization for some time now,
with continued congressional appropriations and no additional clarification. If Congress disagrees with his actions, it
would seem logical, as well as prudent given the changed conditions as well as
the potential for additional future judicial actions both in regards to Iraq as
well as the GWOT, to address the original authorization(s), the Judicial
Branch's views of executive actions pursuant to express congressional
authorization being guided by the strongest of presumptions and the widest
latitude of judicial interpretation.
amendment lays out our continued vital national interests in the region,
relation to the broader GWOT, and issues related to energy and strategic access
such as regional stability, U.S.
credibility, weapons proliferation, refugee flows, and energy infrastructure
and transportation flows. This latter
element appears to have received insufficient public debate in regards to the
potential impacts of a precipitous pullout from the area as well as in relation
to our broader long term energy strategy.
The proposed amendment states that "The long term importance of Iraq
and the Middle East to American economic and national
security requires that our policy in Iraq
be militarily sustainable and that it command the greatest degree of public and
Congressional support possible."
Such support can only be achieved by clearly laying out to the American
people the impacts of potential scenarios, the potential diplomatic,
informational, military, and economic options, and how these options can be
supported across the elements of government.
This amendment appears to be a good start in addressing these important
concerns as well as in clearly articulating them in a current context to
provide a reasonable basis for future planning.
request your positive consideration and support of this amendment during this
weeks debates as well as your continued leadership in moving us all to a
clearer, more relevant understanding of the current and long term importance of
this region, the missions of our various elements of government in support of
national policy goals there, and the impacts of potential courses of action
being debated in regards to our security.
Thank you for
your past and continued dedicated service to our country. I was privileged to attend your election
victory celebration, much it seems to the consternation of my Republican family
and friends, and look forward to supporting your continued service as I am
Harold R. Gielow
LtCol USMC (ret)