Dear Editor,

On March 19, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush ordered air strikes on Baghdad, thus launching the Iraq War to oust dictator Saddam Hussein, who General Powell said was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. As we now know, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. But because of our superior armaments, Coalition forces quickly overpowered Iraq’s military and a brutal dictator was overthrown along with a functioning government.

The mission as described by U.S. President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, the coalition’s aim, "to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people” [w]as accomplished. Sadly, however, with no government in place to fill the void, a once prosperous highly civilized people were left with no one to enforce their laws or to govern their country. Not surprisingly, chaos began to ensue and the country soon disintegrated into lawlessness.

The U.S. declared an end to the war in Iraq on December 15, 2011, nearly ten years after the fighting began. And yet three Presidents after the conflict was started, we still have troops in Iraq. Our troops are still in harm's way. We are still retaliating in "Proportional Response." Sadly, sons and daughters of the original soldiers can now be deployed to Iraq.

Surely, it is time to come home. The 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is no longer needed. Currently, H.R. 256 has been introduced to repeal this AUMF. As of now, there are 112 co-sponsors of this bill. I call upon Rep. Marianette Miller-Meeks, herself a combat veteran, to join with other combat veterans in the House and call enough! Reverse the decision to allow the President the power to engage our military without the approval of Congress.

Harold Frakes, Brighton

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