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Despite the symbolism of the return of the base to Iraqi control, questions continue to swirl around the US occupation of Iraq and whether the end of the month is really the end or simply a pause before the next invasion.
This speculation is fueled primarily by the fact that the authorization to invade Iraq, which Congress based in 2002, is still on the books. Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) attempted to put together a bipartisan coalition to revoke the authorization, a formal end to the conflict, and it failed miserable, with a 30-67 vote. Since the bill was not revoked, it seems that the president can simply choose to reinvade at any time.
The opposition to the bill was led by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I – CT), who complained that the bill would have “forced” the president to return to Congress to seek permission in the event he wanted to reinvade and reoccupy Iraq at some future date.