Prominent Republican lawmakers swiftly criticized the recent airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, deeming them insufficient in response to the deaths of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan earlier in the week.
The U.S. military carried out the strikes, targeting over 85 sites associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and affiliated militia groups.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Ark.) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) expressed approval for the strikes but deemed them belated.
Wicker, the lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, called for a new approach targeting the actual sponsors of terrorism.
McCaul, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Biden administration to adopt decisive, sustained retaliatory strikes and enforce sanctions to cut off terror funding sources.
Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, voiced concerns about the effectiveness of the strikes.
Fischer suggested that the announced strikes likely fell short, while Ernst emphasized the need for Iran to understand the consequences for American lives.
Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.) called for President Biden to restore effective deterrence by taking stronger action against Iran, criticizing weak and telegraphed responses.
On the other hand, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the SASC chair, considered the strikes a strong and proportional response, highlighting that they targeted more sites than the previous administration and dealt a significant blow to Iran’s proxy forces.
Military veterans from both parties also shared their perspectives. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.), a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, raised concerns about the depletion of precision munition stockpiles needed in the Indo-Pacific. Navy veteran Rep. Jen Kiggans (D-Va.) stressed the importance of the strikes in neutralizing Iran’s threats against Americans.
Rep. Austin Scott (D-Ga.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, commended the bravery and skill of CENTCOM in carrying out the airstrikes against the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and affiliated militia groups.
However, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) criticized President Biden for circumventing Congress and called for the withdrawal of troops, emphasizing the need to follow constitutional procedures.