Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard slammed Donald Trump‘s decision to authorize a drone strike that killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani during a Friday appearance on Fox & Friends, Newsweek reports.
“This was very clearly an act of war by this president without any kind of authorization or declaration of war from Congress, clearly violating the Constitution,” Gabbard said.
“It further escalates this tit for tat that’s going on and on and on [and] will elicit a very serious response from Iran and [push] us deeper and deeper into this quagmire that really begs the question, ‘For what?'”
According to Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran who has been highly critical of Trump’s foreign policy, war with Iran would be “far more costly” and “devastating” in both American lives and taxpayer dollars than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Hawaii representative also believes that Trump’s decision will work to undermine American national security.
Other Democratic presidential candidates have echoed Gabbard and criticized Trump’s decision. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders noted Trump’s promise to pull the United States out of endless wars. Sanders also highlighted his vote against the Iraq War in 2002, which he said at the time stemmed from a fear it would continue to destabilize the country and region.
“Today, 17 years later, that fear has unfortunately turned out to be true.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden voiced his concerns about the president’s handling of America’s national security and suggested that Trump’s leadership in this respect is “dangerous” for both the U.S. and the world. Senator Elizabeth Warren had similar concerns, calling the move “reckless” and claiming that it “increases the likelihood” of more deaths in the region.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, businessman Andrew Yang said that starting a war with Iran is the “last thing” the country needs, noting that he has signed a pledge to end the Forever Wars and expressing his desire to end the “constant state of armed conflict” that has been taking place for the last 19 years. The 44-year-old serial entrepreneur also noted that the Constitution provides Congress the power to declare war and says he would “restore the historical balance between” the executive and legislative branches when it comes to deciding military action.
Pete Buttigieg, a former military intelligence officer, released a statement on Twitter in which he was less critical of the president’s action. Nevertheless, he expressed concern with the consequences of Trump’s decision and the potential dangers to Americans in the Middle East — both soldiers and civilians.