(Ken Silva, Headline USA) House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, told CNN on Monday that his committee is drafting legislation that would authorize the use of U.S. military force in the Israel–Hamas conflict.
“I hope I never have to mark this bill up. But we have a situation in the Middle East that’s growing day by day with intensity and if Hezbollah gets involved, Iran has already threatened if Gaza is, you know, if Israel goes, you know, if IDF (Israel Defense Forces) goes into Gaza that they’re gonna come out,” McCaul reportedly said.
McCaul’s disclosure came on the heels of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordering his troops to “be ready to deploy” to the Middle East. The Wall Street Journal reported that around 2,000 troops were selected this weekend for potential deployment.
The U.S has also deployed two aircraft carrier strike groups into the region.
Despite the apparent synergy between the Pentagon and Congress in preparing for possible war, McCaul declined to say whether he’s working with the White House on the matter.
“I don’t want to confirm that. It’s just that there is concern that we—I’m currently, we’re currently drafting one in the event it’s necessary,” he said when asked whether the Biden administration is in communication with him.
Asked by CNN what a potential U.S. role in the war might entail, McCaul said: “I’d prefer not to put Iran as a nation state in there. It would be more Iran proxies, you know, like Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran-backed Shi’ia militias, but if Iran gets directly involved, then we would have to put them on the list.”
Politico reported last week that the U.S. decided not to send troops into Gaza to rescue hostages. But as antiwar.com’s Dave DeCamp noted, the issue could be revised, and the idea of the U.S. military entering Gaza has not been excluded as an option.
Biden’s preparations have already been met with opposition.
“I fully support Israel’s right to defend themselves and they are very good at handling that, but I do not support sending them our own U.S. military troops,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said on Twitter. “Our military should be defending our own border security from the invasion happening here.”
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.