by Ed Flaherty
The word “enduring” has entered the conversation on US military policy in the past few weeks. Its most notable mention was in President Obama’s February 11th request for additional war authority. The proposed AUMF (Authorization for the Use of Military Force) says it does not authorize “enduring” offensive operations.
A much less noticed speech was by the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, Timothy Orr, on February 5. He lauded the Iowa Air National Guard’s 132nd Fighter Wing for its progress on a new, “enduring” mission – Remotely Piloted Aircraft. What he refers to is the 132nd’s preparation to become a piloting center for MQ-9 Reaper Drones, armed with Hellfire missiles and bombs.
A third speech, by President Obama on February 2, was the proposed budget for FY 2016. It would allocate 54% of discretionary spending to the military. That military budget includes $821 million for 29 additional Reaper Drones.
Despite the new AUMF’s intent to not authorize enduring offensive operations, the proposed AUMF does not repeal the AUMF passed in 2001, which is still in place and is being used to authorize offensive operations in multiple countries, relying heavily on lethal strikes from Reaper Drones.
Citizens need to find their voice. Tell President Obama and Congress to repeal the 2001 AUMF and to reduce the bloated Pentagon budget so we may have a chance at enduring peace. And say “NO” to Iowa piloting armed Reaper Drones by attending the March 4th vigil at the 132nd’s Des Moines base.
For more information on the March 4th rally, contact Ed Flaherty at firstname.lastname@example.org