June 14, 2019

Casten Statement on Suspected Attacks on Oil Tankers in the Strait of Hormuz

Wheaton, IL – In response to reports of recent suspected attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06), said that strong international alliances are essential to maintaining security in the region and called on the Administration to provide Congress with a full accounting of the facts associated with the incidents.

"These tanker incidents in the Gulf of Oman remind us of the fragile nature and high value of peace in that volatile region," Casten said. "The Administration is pointing the finger at Iran for these blasts. That is a serious charge that deserves close scrutiny and, if accurate, appropriate international cooperation and response."

Casten expressed his belief that the Congressional authorization for use of force passed after the September 11, 2001 attacks does not extend to these incidents. Accordingly, the Administration would need to seek a new authorization from Congress prior to initiating military intervention.

"If the Administration contemplates use of force in this instance -- and I hope our nation does all that it can to avoid that -- I firmly believe it must first secure Congressional approval. Further, I believe any successful sustainable effort cannot be unilateral; it must have international support similar to the broad alliance that former President George H.W. Bush pieced together in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990," Casten stated.

Representative Casten cautioned that building and maintaining such a coalition would be complicated by the fact that American allies abroad have come to question the truthfulness and stability of the White House.

"I will certainly be asking questions and seeking answers from the Administration in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, I urge the Administration to exercise caution and reason and to be forthright with the American people and our allies around the globe. The credibility of American leadership is an essential component to successful international cooperation," Casten concluded.