Langevin Statement on Strike that Killed Qassem Soleimani

Jan 3, 2020 Issues: Armed Services, Iraq and Afghanistan

Warwick, RI -- Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities (IETC), issued the following statement regarding the recent U.S. military strike in Iraq that killed Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, along with Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis:

“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for some of the worst acts of violence against U.S. troops and interests in the Middle East. I will not mourn his passing. However, this aggressive action by the Trump Administration is undoubtedly risky, and Congress must be made fully aware of why the President concluded that this was a necessary operation. We must see the hard evidence of plans to cause imminent harm to Americans and understand why this strike was conducted now. 

“The President has made a risky calculation, and as I await the full briefing I have requested, I am concerned that he may have miscalculated and set into motion an escalation in conflict that will place our diplomats, civilians, soldiers and allies and partners in direct danger. Amid the aftermath, we must take steps to ensure the safety of American interests and citizens in the region going forward.

“The Department of Defense has made clear that this strike was intended to deter future attacks, and I will use that as a central metric to judge its success. However, the Administration must come to Congress immediately to consult on further military engagement. While I respect the President’s authority to act to prevent imminent danger, if there is a broader shift in strategy that will lead to further military conflict, the Administration must seek Congressional approval for the use of force.”