Congresswoman Lee Leads Bipartisan Letter To President Trump Reasserting Congressional Authority Over Military Operations in Niger

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee led a bipartisan letter to President Trump reasserting Congress’s role in authorizing and overseeing military actions in the wake of the tragic ambush in Niger. The letter, which urges the Trump Administration to come to Congress ahead of any future military operations in Niger, was signed by 48 members of the House of Representatives.

“We write to urge you to consult with and obtain authorization from Congress for any further combat operations in Niger, including providing information on the nature of the current mission and your administration’s legal justification for sending troops into Niger and the basis for any proposed increase,” the letter reads. “Congress has been in the dark about the operations our U.S. service members are conducting in Niger and our overall operations in Africa.”

The letter also requests a briefing from the Trump Administration on the ongoing military operations and mission of our forces in Africa. The letter states: “We are also gravely concerned that the United States is committing itself to a long-term war in Niger and elsewhere in Africa. There has been no Congressional debate or vote on the long-term consequences of, and alternatives to, military action in Niger. The situation is complex, and will require a comprehensive political, economic, and diplomatic solution. That is why we request that your administration fully brief Congress on the ongoing military operations in Niger and our larger operations in Africa, the domestic and international legal justification for that presence, and the rules of engagement for U.S. forces in the region.”

Since 2001, Congresswoman Lee has sounded the alarm on our expansive and unchecked military engagements around the world. The Congressional Research Service released a report in 2016 identifying 37 times, in 14 different countries, that the 2001 AUMF has been used.

Congresswoman Lee’s letter to the Trump Administration on military action in Niger is available here.