Republican lawmakers were quick to criticize the recent airstrikes in Iraq and Syria following the deaths of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan this week. In response to the fatalities, U.S. bomber aircraft targeted over 85 locations linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force and affiliated militia groups, according to the U.S. military.
Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Michael McCaul welcomed the strikes but expressed concerns that they fell short. Wicker emphasized the need for a new approach targeting the actual sponsors of terrorism, urging the Biden administration to adopt decisive, sustained retaliatory strikes and enforce sanctions.
Sen. Deb Fischer echoed the sentiment, stating that the announced strikes likely did not accomplish enough to stop Iran’s axis. Sen. Joni Ernst emphasized the importance of Iran understanding the price for American lives, and Sen. Pete Ricketts called for President Biden to hit Iran more effectively to restore deterrence.
In contrast, Sen. Jack Reed, a Democrat and chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, considered the response a strong and proportional one, noting that it surpassed the number of targets struck during the prior administration.
Military veterans from both parties weighed in on the situation. Rep. Mike Waltz highlighted the significant use of precision munitions, Navy veteran Rep. Jen Kiggans stressed the need to “kneecap” Iran’s presence and threats, and Rep. Austin Scott applauded the bravery and skill of CENTCOM in carrying out the airstrikes.
However, Rep. Nancy Mace criticized President Biden for circumventing Congress and called for the return of troops and adherence to the constitution.