May 14, 2019

Duckworth Questions Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan Over Potential Deployment of 120,000 Troops to Middle East


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan today over plans he reportedly presented to top White House officials regarding a potential deployment of 120,000 troops to counter Iran in the Middle East. During a meeting in her office, Duckworth expressed concerns with the Trump Administration’s approach to Iran and cautioned Shanahan against moving forward with a proposal that could raise tensions in the region, set off an accidental war with a foreign power and lead to the preventable loss of American lives. A photo of their meeting is available here.

“I expressed my concerns to Acting Secretary Shanahan today about the Trump Administration’s increasingly reckless approach to Iran—and highlighted how sending tens of thousands of American forces into the region could put our national security at even greater risk,” said Duckworth. “The drums of war appear to be growing louder at the White House, so I also made sure to make one thing clear: the President does not have the legal or constitutional authority to declare war, Congress does. Before the Trump Administration makes a decision that could lead our military into intentional or accidental armed conflict, the President must get Congressional approval—and he must level with the American people about what the true costs of that conflict would be, in both dollars and cents and human lives.”