The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing today on a new Authorization to Use Military Force Against terrorist groups.
Latest in AUMF
Early Sunday evening, a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 that had just completed a bombing run targeting US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Raqqa region. The episode raises important questions under the U.N. Charter (see Adil Ahmad Haque’s analysis here). But what about U.S. domestic law?
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) have introduced a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
The White House Releases a "Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks" on American Uses of Military Force
It just is not possible to read this document and not come away with a sense that the administration has endeavored to think through the range of issues it confronts in overseas terrorism operations in a systematic fashion and to make the framework it has developed as public as possible.
Charlie Savage and Bobby Chesney come on the podcast to discuss Charlie's New York Times story with Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti on the Obama administration's expanded understanding of the AUMF against al-Shabaab.
With less than two months to go before it hands over power to the Trump administration, the Obama administration is continuing to fine-tune the legal, policy, and institutional architectures that guide its approach to the ongoing conflict with al Qaeda. Under that heading, I want to flag some important recent developments.
1. AUMF expansion: al Shabaab is now a full-fledged "associated force"
Boston University professor and Lawfare Contributor Rebecca Ingber's new article examines the doctrine of "co-belligerency" in both international law and US domestic law as authority for designating and targeting groups under the 2001 AUMF
Even though Republicans and Democrats have overwhelmingly labeled the Orlando mass-murder a terrorist attack, it’s unlikely that either side will introduce an AUMF. Both sides talk about Orlando in national security terms without being willing to step up to the constitutional plate.
These kinds of advocacy lawsuits against the President in the national security arena often have perverse effects on the resulting law. The intent is generally to force constraints onto the executive branch, but the further along this lawsuit gets, the greater the risk it will result in less, rather than more, accountability and constraint on the Executive’s power.
Charlie Savage’s piece on the legal basis for the March 5 U.S. strike against an al Shabaab training camp, which allegedly killed 150 fighters, raises the intriguing question of whether the AUMF has been stretched yet again, this time to justify U.S. operations against al Shabaab as a whole.