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Seek Enforcement of the Leahy Amendment

The federal government should cut off unconditional U.S. support for Iraq’s national security forces. Congress should stop training Iraqi national forces and seek enforcement of the Leahy Amendment.

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The federal government should cut off unconditional U.S. support for Iraq’s national security forces. Congress should stop training Iraqi national forces and seek enforcement of the Leahy Amendment.

The Leahy Amendment, first introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) as an amendment to the 1997 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, prohibits U.S. security assistance to foreign military or security units “against whom exist credible allegations of gross violations of human rights.” Since 1997, Congress has continued these restrictions on such assistance in amendments to the Foreign Operations and Defense Appropriations Acts, which permits the Secretary of Defense to waive the restriction on assistance if “extraordinary circumstances” require assistance to continue to units credibly believed to have engaged in gross violations of human rights. Since 2003, the Bush administration has refused to apply the provisions of the Leahy Amendment to U.S. security assistance to Iraqi units.

For more information about the Center for American Progress’ policies on the war in Iraq, please see:

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