AUMF

Luke Sharrett / Ben Balter (background)

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, Congress voted to authorize military force against against those who had “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks” or who "harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States. . . ." More than a decade later, the United States continues to conduct military operations against Al Qaeda and affiliated groups—including, somewhat surprisingly, against the Islamic State—pursuant to this 2001 authorization. In the spring of 2015, despite claiming that a new AUMF for airstrikes and limited operations in Syria and Iraq was not legally required, the Obama Administration presented draft language to Congress for a new AUMF. Riven by disagreements over details, Congress has thus far refused to support the President’s proposal.

 

Latest in AUMF

AUMF Reform

Section-by-Section Analysis of Rep. Schiff's AUMF Proposal

Representative Adam Schiff has revived his effort to get Congress to replace the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs with a new “Consolidated AUMF” that would explicitly name the Islamic State. What follows below is a section-by-section analysis of H.J. Res. 100, intended to highlight the key moving parts while also flagging a few issues that deserve further attention should the bill move forward.

AUMF

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. 

War Powers

The ISIS Lawsuit and the Perverse Effects of National Security Litigation

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.

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