Global Policy Forum

Letter From Chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Bill Delahunt to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Regarding the MNF Renewal in Iraq


December 5, 2007

December 5, 2007

The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

As Chairman of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Subcommittee that oversees U.S. participation in international organizations, and as a congressional delegate appointed by President Bush to the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, I am writing to obtain clarification about the status of Iraq's request that the UN Security Council extend for a final year the mandate of the U.S.-led Multinational Force in Iraq. Actions by Iraq's parliament, the Council of Representatives, concerning the extension raise the possibility that the U.S. presence in Iraq will be broadly perceived there as illegal, illegitimate, and evidence of a desire for the long-term basing of our military forces in Iraq.

In May 2007, the Iraqi Council of Representatives passed a law affirming that, based on Article 58 of Section 4 of the Iraqi Constitution, the Iraqi cabinet and prime minister must obtain the vote of two-thirds of the Council before making any force renewal request to the Security Council. I note that Prime Minister Maliki has not obtained such support, and that 144 parliamentarians, a majority of the Council, have signed a letter calling "unconstitutional" last year's request, because it had not been approved by the Council. In light of all this, does the United States consider the current request constitutionally valid?

I would greatly appreciate your answer to this question prior to your instructing Ambassador Khalilzad to support any extension of the UN mandate. The current mandate expires on December 31, 2007, and it appears that the request for the mandate extension will be brought to the Council in the next two weeks, so I would appreciate a rapid response.

Thank you for your attention to this request.



Member of Congress

More Information on Iraq
More Information on the Multinational Force Mandate Renewal
More Information on Iraq's Government
More Information on UN Role in Iraq
More Information on Withdrawal?
More Information on Occupation and Rule in Iraq


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