Congressman Denver Riggleman Gives Speech on The Dangers of Iran

January 30, 2020
Press Release

Washington D.C. – Congressman Denver Riggleman gave a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives opposing the attempt by Democrats to strip the President of his authority to use military force in the Middle East. Before coming to Congress, Rep. Riggleman worked with the National Security Agency to protect troops serving in the Middle East and North Africa.

"The No War Against Iran Act is ill-timed and irresponsible and seems to coincide with impeachment.  This act is political, without any forethought to what a possible AUMF would look like in this new era of asymmetric warfare," said Congressman Riggleman. "We have Iran on the ropes, have killed their number one terrorist and struck their command and control hierarchy in a devastating way."

You can watch Congressman Riggleman's speech here. The speech, as prepared for delivery, can be found below.



Congressman McCaul:

I yield to the gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Riggleman.  A veteran of the United States Air Force, Operation Enduring Freedom, and multiple counter-terrorism activities over the past two decades.  And we thank you for your service.

Congressman Riggleman:

Thank you, Madame Speaker

I stand in strong opposition to the No War Against Iran Act.

Since I mission planned the first bombing runs into Afghanistan in early 2001, warfare has evolved. It’s fascinating to think that my military career started with dropping bombs. 

One of my jobs was to flush out, bury or kill insurgents that used caves as places for cover. Technology was certainly in use when utilizing GPS guided weapons, electro-optical and laser guided missiles.  We mensurated coordinates by using systems like “raindrop” and tracked our aircrews with systems like “combat track”.  

For us older warfighters and folks here, it was incredible then, but today it would be like playing tank war on an original Atari.

Terrorists still use caves, but those caves could be in cyberspace. By 2018, I was working on tracking targets through a myriad of activities, finding gaps in vertically integrated network infrastructures, linking proxy groups to IED resupply, perfecting telephony analysis, computer network attack and identifying network critical touchpoints in command and control architectures.  

Instead of executing war, our group worked to determine as many asymmetric terrorist attack modalities as we could, and then used research and development to advance new concepts such as algorithmic warfare or instantaneous information sharing amongst disparate networks.

My job in two decades took me from bombs to algorithms. 

The No War Against Iran Act is ill-timed and irresponsible, and seems to coincide with impeachment.  This act is political, without any forethought to what a possible AUMF would look like in this new era of asymmetric warfare.  We have Iran on the ropes, have killed their #1 terrorist and struck their command and control hierarchy in a devastating way. 

This amendment at the bottom of page 2 states that “no federal funds may be obligated or expended for any use of military force against Iran unless Congress has; declared war, enacted specific statutory authorization for such use of military force after the date of the enactment of this Act that meets the requirements of the War Powers Resolution.”

Let’s ensure we enact specific statutory authorization in a reasoned way BEFORE we remove statutory authority already in place.  

Does this amendment restrict use of resources already in place if Iran employs cyber-attack, critical infrastructure attack, electronic warfare, Chemical attack, Biological attack, or any other of their attack “modalities” that terrorists like to employ? 

And, what if their terror-specific modalities can be used where Iran supports terror operations in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon. Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain…is the United States then limited to new resource allocation to defend forces? The speed of warfare is intense.  And, let’s make no mistake, Congress cannot always move at the speed of warfare in a time of asymmetric kinetic (think airplanes) or non-kinetic (think electric power infrastructure or military communications network) attack. 

That’s why we have a Commander-in-Chief. That’s why we have Article 2 of the Constitution.  That’s why our founders made it this way.  Sometimes military force is not war.  Of course, we must preserve Article 1 powers. Let’s approach this fix in a way that preserves our constitution and considers the non-geographic threat posture we live in today.