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January 04, 2020

Rep. Trone Statement on U.S. Airstrike Against Qassem Soleimani

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hannah Muldavin, Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov

Rep. Trone Statement on U.S. Airstrike Against Qassem Soleimani

Washington, DC – Rep. David Trone (MD-06) released the below statement following the U.S. airstrike against Qassem Soleimani:

“The U.S. airstrike that killed General Qassem Soleimani has escalated tensions in a volatile region. The lives of many Americans, including our soldiers and diplomats, our allies and partners, and innocent civilians are at stake. Soleimani was responsible for attacks that killed hundreds of Americans and thousands of Iraqis, Syrians, and others. The careful plotting and planning he put into sowing death, destruction, and chaos is absolutely reprehensible, and the Quds Force’s efforts to export terror pose a direct threat to U.S. interests. But it remains an open question whether eliminating this one threat was worth the likely consequences of this action, especially if Soleimani is now seen as a martyr by those who would continue his mission.

“The Trump Administration describes this as a “defensive action” but it has not provided evidence to justify this conclusion. It has provided no evidence that the President or his advisors thought through all the implications of the attack before making the call. More troubling, the Administration has not detailed a plan for what happens next. Our policies toward Iran and Iraq should have explicit benchmarks and goals. At this point, the Administration has provided neither.

“As a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I join with colleagues in both parties in insisting that Congress’ constitutional roles be respected. We must be fully briefed on these events and the Administration’s plans for future action. In formulating that policy, we cannot forget that diplomacy is an essential tool in the conduct of our foreign policy. 

“Finally, it must be noted that Congress has not authorized use of military force against Iran. Any actions by this Administration that push us recklessly into war threaten our safety and our democracy. We need a clear and sensible policy toward the Middle East, and we should use this occasion to develop one that is based on a collaboration between the equal branches of our government and enjoys bipartisan support. In the long run, this is more likely to make us safe and strong than a one-off strike against a single bad actor.”

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