American diplomats and troops stationed in Iraq and Syria were targeted in three rocket and drone attacks in 24 hours, US and Iraq officials said on 7 July, including at least 14 rockets hitting an Iraqi air base hosting US forces, with no immediate claims of responsibility for the strikes.
President Joe Biden, whose current policy decisions are part of a move to pivot away from America’s decades of war in the Middle East, has come under fire from a growing chorus of Republicans. Some GOP members have lambasted his lackluster response to a spate of recent attacks against Americans in Iraq and Syria.
Biden was criticized for just two retaliatory strikes that were cited as failing to do much to deter Iranian proxies held responsible by Washington for the attacks.
Former defense officials urged the President to “be consistent” in responding to the attacks.
Mick Mulroy, formerly responsible for representing the US Department of defense (DoD) for Middle East policy during the Trump administration, noted that “Iran needs to know they can’t hide behind their proxy forces.”
In response to the criticism, Biden’s Democratic allies point to the fact that the POTUS is acting under Article II powers, contained in the Constitution, to defend US service members by retaliating.
He does not, they underscore, possess the authority to launch offensive strikes against the Iran-backed militia groups without congressional approval.
Some Democrats have likened the situation with…