May 16, 2019

Duckworth Requests All-Senate Briefing on Iranian Threat Assessment As Soon As Possible


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In a letter to top intelligence, military and Trump Administration officials, combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) asked the Trump Administration to organize a classified, interagency intelligence briefing for all 100 Senators as soon as possible to share the intelligence that triggered the recent warnings about threats in Iran. The Trump Administration has escalated tensions with Iran over the past week, loudly warning the American public about new threats facing American forces and allies in the region. However, they have yet to share that intelligence assessment with the entire Senate even though Congress has the sole constitutional authority to declare war and authorize use of military of force, neither of which Congress has done regarding Iran.

I write to request an interagency briefing to the entire United States Senate addressing the Iranian threat assessment that resulted in the United States adjusting its military force posture in the Middle East and announcing an evacuation of non-essential personnel from Iraq,” Duckworth wrote. “Congress is vested with the sole power to declare war, and potential deployments may involve constituents from every State and territory, rather than just a select few. That is why every Senator must be provided a classified briefing on this new threat assessment and an opportunity to pose detailed questions on the analysis that may be used to justify the use of military force.”

Duckworth has publicly questioned whether President Trump is really involved in the recent provocative actions and whether it is his staff, such as National Security Advisor John Bolton, who are “driving the train” towards a war with Iran to achieve regime change. Earlier this week, Duckworth questioned Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan 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 with Shanahan 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. Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been vocal about the Trump Administration’s reckless approach to Iran and how it has unnecessarily raised tensions in the region.

A full copy of the letter is available online here.