Jan 03 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad:
“Qassem Soleimani was an enemy of the United States who was responsible for violence across the Middle East and the deaths of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans. He should not be mourned.
“Presidential administrations of both parties have traditionally consulted with Congress before conducting strategically significant military actions, not only because it is constitutionally appropriate, and not only because doing so provides the opportunity to secure bipartisan congressional support – but also because that process allows for the airing of outside perspectives that might not otherwise be considered, and ensures that tough questions get answered.
“This is a situation that could easily and quickly escalate even further, and it is not clear that the Trump Administration has a plan to prevent another catastrophic war in the Middle East. We need to be prepared for the long-term potential consequences of this action, which include: counter-attacks on U.S. troops and personnel in the region; substantial harm to the ongoing fight against the remnants of ISIS; and ultimately, the possibility of reduced U.S. influence in the region, further empowering our adversaries to the detriment of U.S. national security and our allies in the Middle East.
“The Trump Administration must act with all due haste to protect U.S. military and diplomatic personnel and other Americans in the region.”