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Category Archives: AUMF

What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Ben bemoans the state our nation’s current debate over Guantanamo as “terrible,” observing that “the arguments about Guantanamo are nearly all wrong, disingenuous, irrelevant, or just plain dumb.”  It’s true that Guantanamo—like most political issues—sometimes takes on a special kind of inside-the-beltway rhetorical flavor that can really annoy the wonks, who would much rather focus . . .
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The Obama Administration Does Not Want a New AUMF

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 6:35 AM

Last night the President “call[ed] on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.”  This comes on the heels of his November statement that “I’m going to begin engaging Congress over a new authorization to use military force . . .
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Relevant Passages of President Obama’s State of the Union Address

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 9:32 PM

The following are the passages of tonight’s State of the Union address that seem to me most relevant to the Lawfare readership: Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.  Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, fewer than 15,000 remain.  And we salute the courage . . .
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Text of Senator Ayotte’s GTMO Transfers Bill

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM

As promised, here it is. The rather unfortunate-seeming proposal provides, in full: 114TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S.__ To extend and enhance prohibitions and limitations with respect to the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Ms. AYOTTE (for herself, Mr. GRAHAM, . . .
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Cliff Sloan on Closing Guantanamo

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Worth flagging: yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece, which was published in the wake of Sloan’s departure from the State Department last month.  The op-ed begins: WASHINGTON — WHEN I began as the State Department’s envoy for closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, many people advised me that progress was impossible. They were wrong. In the . . .
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The SFRC Vote on the Menendez AUMF

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Friday, December 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-8 yesterday to approve Senator Menendez’s draft AUMF for ISIL.  As endorsed by the Committee, the bill: — Authorizes the President to use force against ISIL or against “associated forces or associated persons”  (a phrase defined to mean means “individuals and organizations fighting for or on behalf of [ISIL] . . .
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This Morning’s SFRC Business Meeting

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

There are many subjects under discussion right now, including recent proposals to authorize force against ISIS. Update: it appears the Committee approved a draft authorization authored by the Committee’s Chairman, Senator Robert Menendez, by a vote of 10-8.

USG Closes Bagram Detention Facility

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Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The news comes from Time:  The United States Department of Defense said Thursday that it had shuttered the last American detention facility in Afghanistan, bringing to an end a controversial practice of holding prisoners in the country without trial. The U.S. said it no longer had custody of detainees in Afghanistan following the transfer on Wednesday of remaining . . .
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A Few Thoughts on Yesterday’s AUMF Hearing

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:39 PM

Jack aptly stated earlier today many of my thoughts on yesterday’s hearing on an Islamic State AUMF—at which Secretary of State John Kerry testified. In particular, he highlighted the broad authorization the administration is seeking—one with few of the sort of accountability mechanisms Jack, Matt, Bobby and I have suggested. And he highlighted as well the . . .
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The Obama Administration Wants a Super-Broad AUMF for the Islamic State (and Other Reactions to Yesterday’s AUMF Hearing)

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Secretary of State Kerry testified yesterday before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on the need for a new AUMF for the Islamic State (which Kerry referred to by the new moniker “Daesh,” and I will for now call “IS”).  It was a revealing few hours.  The Senators were well-informed and asked good questions with an . . .
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Video of Secretary of State Kerry’s Testimony on ISIL AUMF

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 9:52 PM

Today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

Kerry Outlines Administration Vision of an AUMF

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 4:20 PM

From Secretary of State John Kerry’s prepared testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today: Toward that end, we ask you now to work closely with us on a bipartisan basis to develop language that provides a clear signal of support for our ongoing military operations against ISIL. Our position on the text is pretty straightforward . . .
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Senator Menendez’s Draft ISIL AUMF

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Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Last Thursday, Bloomberg View’s Josh Rogin had a piece on a draft ISIL authorization put forth by Senator Bob Menendez, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Based on Rogin’s report, it seems Menendez’s legislation was offered as an alternative to a bill authored by Senator Rand Paul. But as Rogin notes, of the pair, . . .
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A “Buffer Zone” Inside Syria, and Its Complications

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Friday, December 5, 2014 at 6:34 PM

The United States and Turkey seem to be having increasingly detailed discussions about establishing a no-fly zone (or “buffer zone”) inside the northern Syrian border adjacent to Turkey. The press reports that Turkey is conditioning the U.S. use of Turkey’s Incirlik air base for armed flights on the U.S. willingness to establish such a zone. The . . .
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Rules of Engagement for the War in Afghanistan in 2015

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 10:44 AM

As reported in an article in the New York Times back on November 21, President Obama recently decided to expand the set of circumstances in which the U.S. military might use force in Afghanistan during 2015. What is the precise nature of that expansion, so far as we can tell from that story? Or put . . .
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Bruce Fein’s Revealing Defense of Senator Paul’s Draft Declaration of War

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Friday, November 28, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Earlier this week I analyzed Senator Paul’s proposed war declaration.  Bruce Fein has a spirited defense of Senator Paul’s draft (which includes a swipe at me for asking an “obtuse[e]” question).  But the defense contains two errors that reveal the limits of what the Senator proposes. Fein’s first and most important error is in this . . .
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Risking Money and Risking Lives: Disproportionate Congressional Oversight

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM

The Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) requires the Executive Branch to conduct detailed strategic planning prior to spending money.  The laws that govern the President when he introduces the men and women of the United States (U.S.) Armed Forces into hostilities, specifically Article II of the Constitution, the War Powers Resolution, and the Authorizations for . . .
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Analysis of Senator Paul’s Proposed Declaration of War (and Authorization of Force) Against the Islamic State

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Monday, November 24, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Senator Paul has proposed a declaration of war and authorization of force against the Islamic State.  A few reflections, drawn in part from an article I wrote a decade ago with Curtis Bradley: 1.     The United States has declared war in five armed conflicts in American history: The War of 1812, the Mexican-American . . .
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End of Forever War Watch, Weekend Edition

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Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 6:54 AM

Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt report: President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year. Mr. Obama’s order allows American . . .
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Seeking Consensus on AUMFs

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Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM

[Cross-posted at Just Security] The three of us have coauthored an Op-Ed in Sunday’s Washington Post on the topic of congressional authorization for the use of force against ISIL and the 2001 AUMF.  We outline the broad underlying agreement we personally share and that we believe is shared by two proposals published earlier this week at Lawfare and Just Security.