WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — After advancing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the U.S. Senate is poised to repeal a law that gives the President broad military power.

In Oct. 2017, four soldiers with Fort Bragg’s special forces were killed in Niger by Islamic militants. The incident was captured by a National Geographic photographer. 

Killed in the line of duty were Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, of Miami Gardens, Florida, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia.

Most American’s didn’t know there was a U.S presence in Niger.

“Members of Congress, senior members of Congress, had no idea we had troops in Niger let alone that they were in combat. And this happens consistently,” said Iraq War veteran Matthew Hoh, who lives in Wake Forest.

In 1991 and again 2001, Congress passed the Authorization for Military Force, giving the President the ability to conduct military operations without congressional approval. Each time it was related to the American conflict with Iraq.

Since then, both the Obama and Trump administrations used what’s better known as AUMF for other purposes including the U.S. military presence in Niger and in Syria.

“So, you have these secret wars in the name of the American people being conducted throughout the world without the American public’s knowledge and this has a lot to do with the fact that they used the 2001 AUMF as a blank check to do whatever they want,” said Hoh.

Hoh is known for resigning his State Department post in Afghanistan in protest of the U.S. troop surge. He also ran for U.S. Senate. 

Hoh said he agrees with repealing AMUF—which also has broad bipartisan support.

“Many of us, of course, say that’s wrong for a host of reasons. Morally it’s wrong, it’s wrong under international law, it’s counter productive. But also, too, as Americans this is a violation of our constitution. Congress has war making authority not the President,” Hoh said.

He added that it is also a timely discussion considering the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the call by some to react militarily to Russian jets downing a U.S. drone in international waters over the Black Sea.

The repeal of AUMF would officially end the 2001 U.S. Iraq war. Hoh believes he and the rest of the world were misled about why we were there in the first place. But he now sees an opportunity to help make that right.

“You know when they say ‘only the dead have seen the end of war,’ you understand what they are talking about. And so repealing the Authorization for Military Force in Iraq would be the first necessary step, many of us believe, in getting some degree of accountability for the war,” he said.