U.S. Lawmakers Eye Military Intervention Amidst Middle East Unrest

As the war in Ukraine nears its second anniversary, and the Biden administration seeks increased U.S. aid for the nation, a growing number of Americans from both political aisles are shifting their focus to the escalating unrest in Israel.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), has recently suggested that the United States should be prepared to authorize military force “in the event it’s necessary.”

McCaul confirmed that the committee has already begun working on legislation to allow for such intervention. “I hope I never have to mark this bill up,” McCaul stated. “But we have a situation in the Middle East that’s growing day by day in intensity. If Hezbollah gets involved, Iran has already threatened to intervene if Israel takes action in Gaza.”

While McCaul revealed that he has been in contact with the White House, he declined to confirm whether the Biden administration requested the committee to begin crafting the military authorization bill.

Regarding the potential scope of the permissions this bill might grant U.S. troops, McCaul pointed out, “They do not have authorities to engage Hezbollah, Hamas, or any of Iran’s proxies, including the Iran-backed militias in Iraq. So, this is something we are looking at.”

However, McCaul has not yet disclosed which nations, such as Iran, a pivotal source of funding for Hamas, might be included in the bill. “I’d prefer not to include Iran as a nation-state in there,” McCaul noted. “It would focus more on Iran’s proxies, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran-backed Shia militias. But if Iran directly engages, then we would have to include them on the list.”

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who is also campaigning in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, introduced a bill in the Senate aimed at re-freezing $6 billion in Iranian assets. These assets were released by the U.S. as part of a prisoner exchange earlier this year.

Scott criticized the deal as “a grave mistake that created a market for American hostages, emboldened our adversaries, and put a credit on the balance sheets of one of Hamas’ biggest backers.”