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Libya(?) and the Case for a New AUMF

By and
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 11:56 AM

While we appreciate Ben’s answer to our question (and share his view that we’re reaching the point of the conversation where everything has been said and everyone has said it), we still fail to understand how the Libya example illuminates what Ben—and Bobby, Jack, and Matt—think are the “problematic” aspects of an approach that requires the Executive to go to Congress if and when a specific situation arises that justifies a new authorization for the use of force.

If the Libya example is meant to highlight their purported concerns over broadening (and potentially excessive) uses of force without clear congressional authorization, we’re baffled as to how their proposal—and its expansive delegation to the President of the power to determine when future use of force authorizations are appropriate—will “restrain military actions that presidents want to take and believe are in the national interest.” If, by contrast, they’re worried that the Executive might be “reluctant” to use force when it is appropriate and necessary without such congressional intervention, as they state in their initial paper, then Libya is in fact the perfect rejoinder.

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