Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) issued the following statement about last night’s airstrike near the Baghdad airport that killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, one of Iran’s top military figures:
“I fear that last night’s strike constitutes the Trump Administration’s biggest and most consequential foreign policy blunder to date. These killings will not be judged by their deserving targets, but by President Trump’s overall strategy in the region, or lack thereof, and the ability to prevent further escalation and protect U.S. personnel, assets, and our allies in the days and weeks ahead. My thoughts are with the U.S. servicemembers and civil servants now in harm’s way.
“Going it alone is not a strategy but a recipe for disaster. We should all be gravely concerned that the President acted without our allies at our side, without consulting with the leadership in Congress, let alone the membership and without a plan to protect our servicemembers and diplomats in Iraq and the region. He has created a toxic brew which will explode and frankly he has fueled this imminent disaster himself starting with the undoing of the Iran agreement and imposing more sanctions on the country. Actions create reactions. He has waved the red flag at Iran since the beginning of his Presidency and ignored the pleas of our Allies to remain in the JCPOA.
“I have seen no evidence that the President possesses the acumen, tact, or humility to avoid the worst, but, for the sake of those he’s endangered, I hope the President rises to the occasion. The administration must rely on diplomacy, not force, to de-escalate tensions.
“I am also deeply concerned that President Trump initiated hostilities with Iran without authorization by, consultation with, or notification of Congress. Congress’s War Powers exist precisely to prevent rash actions from embroiling the United States in conflict and Senate Republicans must now join the bipartisan majority in the House in asserting Congress’s authority and constraining the President’s impulsive tendencies.”