Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tillerson, Mattis Tell Senators New War Authority Not Needed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tillerson, Mattis Tell Senators New War Authority Not Needed

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Senior U.S. national security officials told Congress on Monday a new war authorization is "not legally required" to conduct combat operations against terrorist groups and warned lawmakers that prematurely repealing current law could signal the U.S. is "backing away from this fight."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee three months after they informed the panel a post-Sept. 11, 2001, law gave the military ample authority to fight terrorist groups and a new one was unnecessary. A separate authorization for the war in Iraq approved by Congress in 2002 also remains in force.

In testimony, they said if Congress does pursue a new authorization for foes such as Islamic State, it's imperative that the existing law not be rescinded until the new one is fully in place. …

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