Washington, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee and Member of the House Personal Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s air strike launch against militia targets in southeastern Syria.
“The use of force must always be a last resort, enacted in consultation with Congress, and proportional and limited in scope. Congress is a co-equal branch of government with the sole and solemn power to declare war. We owe it to the American people to carefully consider the implications and underlying legal justifications for any military operation.”
“The airstrikes were conducted in response to Iranian-backed militia attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq earlier this month, which killed a civilian contractor and wounded several U.S. service members. It is difficult to assess whether the Administration’s response is proportional given that Congress was not privy to the underlying intelligence or military options considered in this case. I have concerns that the proportionality may have been exceeded based on reports that seven buildings were leveled and 15 people were killed in the strike yesterday. As the Chairwoman of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, I am particularly concerned with the potential for military strikes to escalate tensions or cause reprisal attacks against U.S. service members stationed in the region.”
“I look forward to receiving a classified briefing by the Administration on this strike. We will always defend our forces from attack, but military operations must be conducted in coordination with Congress and in a way that is transparent and accountable to the American public.”