President Joe Biden told Congress that he is prepared to take further action against members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in response to the killing of three U.S. soldiers in a suicide drone attack on a U.S. base in Jordan on Jan. 28.
In the letter addressed to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Biden pointed to “the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40),” claiming that he was legally allowed to conduct the strikes without approval from Congress.
He then said that he would authorize action against the IRGC if necessary.
In his words, “If necessary, I will direct additional measures, including against the IRGC and IRGC-affiliated personnel and facilities, as appropriate, to address the series of attacks against United States forces and facilities.”
The president did not, however, give details about what additional measures his administration might be taking.
Biden’s letter comes after the U.S. already launched retaliatory attacks against Iranian-backed terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.
As announced by U.S. Central Command, “U.S. military forces struck more than 85 targets, with numerous aircraft to include long-range bombers flown from United States.”
“The airstrikes employed more than 125 precision munitions. The facilities that were struck included command and control operations, centers, intelligence centers, rockets, and missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicle storages, and logistics and munition supply chain facilities of militia groups and their IRGC sponsors who facilitated attacks against U.S. and Coalition forces,” CENTCOM added.
Biden’s reportedly willingness to take further actions against IRGC, which is a designated terrorist group, follows complaints that the initial action the administration took was too weak.
For people like Jonathan Schanzer, Senior Vice President of Research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, the administration’s strike against Iran-backed organizations in Syria is “a response on the cheap.
“Hitting Iran-backed targets in Iraq is more meaningful. Hitting targets in Iran is where it matters most,” Schanzer said in a tweet to X.
Just so folks are clear: hitting Iran-backed targets in Syria is a response on the cheap. Hitting Iran-backed targets in Iraq is more meaningful. Hitting targets in Iran is where it matters most.
— Jonathan Schanzer (@JSchanzer) February 2, 2024
Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow at Hudson Institute and the director of its Keystone Defense Initiative also said that Biden’s response was “shockingly backwards,” per The Daily Wire.
Pointing out that the administration delayed in its attack and also revealed the time and location, Heinrichs stated, “There was plenty of time for Iran to move its highest value IRGC commanders and weapons. Rather than eliminating the enemy, it assured him, and even warned him. Rather than make Iran fear the U.S., it gave it reason to mock us.”