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11 February, 2009

States Push to Take Back National Guard

Oooops. How will Obama get “his” war in Afghanistan? Time for ye olde draft?

Going on its seventh year, the Iraq war has taken its toll on not only the US military, but also on the states's National Guard units, which were called up when Congress passed the 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. Now a growing state-level movement is working to keep the Guard at home.

Its logic: The AUMF's goals have been fulfilled. The authorization's explicit purposes were to defend the US against the "threat posed by Iraq" and to enforce UN Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq's alleged ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein - along with his supposed threat - is gone, and the UN resolutions are no longer relevant, so there's no longer a mandate to keep troops in Iraq.

The president can call up the states's Guard units in a time of war. But when the mandate for war becomes obsolete, say members of the Bring the Guard Home: It's the Law (BTGH) campaign, sending those troops overseas is illegal. BTGH members and their allies are now sponsoring a chain of bills and resolutions in states across the country, demanding an investigation into the legality of deploying the Guard to Iraq, and a refusal to comply with any illegal federal orders.

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