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Category Archives: AUMF

Stephen Preston’s Important Acknowledgement that the 2001-AUMF-Forever-War is Not Ending Anytime Soon

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Friday, April 17, 2015 at 9:01 AM

Stephen Preston’s speech at last Friday’s ASIL Meeting was the latest of many efforts by the administration to explain (in Preston’s words) “the bases, under domestic and international law, for the United States’ use of military force abroad.”  It was a good and informative speech, and good that he gave it.  Especially noteworthy, I thought, . . .
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U.S. Support for the Saudi Air Campaign in Yemen: The Legal Issues

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 3:02 PM

For the past couple of weeks, a Saudi-led coalition has been engaged in a substantial air campaign against Houthi forces in Yemen. The United States is not conducting its own air strikes against the Houthis, but it is providing various forms of material and intelligence support to the coalition, including armaments, air-to-air refueling services, satellite . . .
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The AUMF is Dead. Long Live the AUMF.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 8:12 AM

The Hill is reporting this morning that Republican congressional leaders have declared the President’s AUMF proposal dead: President Obama’s proposal for the use of military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is dead in the House, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy declared on Monday. The California Republican said Obama’s draft authorization for . . .
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Steve Preston’s Speech: On Associated Forces, Self-Defense, and AUMF Refinement

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Friday, April 10, 2015 at 6:30 PM

The speech DOD General Counsel Stephen Preston delivered today at ASIL was quite interesting on many scores, including the scope of the “associated forces” concept, the nature of America’s self-defense claim as to force in Syria, and as to AUMF reform. Associated Forces under the 2001 AUMF: Preston emphasized two things about the statutory concept . . .
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Today’s Remarks by Stephen Preston at ASIL

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Friday, April 10, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Today at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, General Counsel of the Department of Defense Stephen Preston delivered remarks on “The Legal Framework for the United States’ Use of Force Since 9/11.” You can read his full remarks as prepared below:

The Consequences of Congressional Inaction on the AUMF

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 9:56 AM

Yesterday, I wrote about the consequences of congressional inaction over the next two months with respect to Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Today, I want to focus on another area where Congress is poised to do nothing: authorizing force against the Islamic State. Specifically, I want to argue that this inaction has important consequences—though . . .
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The Bergdahl Roadmap to Unilateral Presidential Closure of GTMO

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 11:15 AM

We have not paid enough attention to the significance of the administration’s legal argument in support of the Bergdahl trade for President Obama’s goal of closing GTMO.  The Article II logic in the administration’s disregard of the congressional notice requirement in swapping the Taliban five for Bergdahl could be the basis for transferring the remaining . . .
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Intelligence Squared US Debate: “The President Has Exceeded His Constitutional Authority By Waging War Without Congressional Authorization”

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 4:51 PM

This evening, at 6:45 pm, Intelligence Squared US is holding a debate on the resolution: “The president has exceeded his constitutional authority by waging war without congressional authorization.” Arguing for the motion will be Gene Healy of the Cato Institute and Deborah Pearlstein of Cardozo Law. Arguing against it will be Philip Bobbitt of Columbia . . .
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Why the AUMF for the Islamic State Has Stalled

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Friday, March 20, 2015 at 9:36 AM

“Congress is stalled in its effort to pass a separate resolution authorizing military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” write Austin Wright and Bryan Bender in a good Politico story two days ago.  The conventional explanation for the stall is, as Wright and Bender note, that “congressional action has gotten bogged . . .
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Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on ISIS AUMF

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 3:44 PM

Earlier this morning, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey on the president’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Force (AUMF) against ISIS. You can watch the full hearing here.

C-SPAN Washington Journal AUMF Discussion

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 12:03 PM

C-SPAN’s Washington Journal had two lengthy segments on the AUMF controversy this morning. I was on the first: The second involved a discussion between the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka and Brian Katulis of the Center for American Progress:

The Intellectual—But Not Political—AUMF Consensus

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Monday, March 2, 2015 at 9:00 AM

[Cross-posted at Just Security.]  A real consensus is developing on the contours of an appropriate AUMF—at least among academics and other commentators. It wasn’t always this way. For months, we, among many others, argued (quite vociferously at times) on what an AUMF to fight al Qaeda and other associated armed groups ought to look like. But . . .
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The Lawfare Podcast: HASC Hearing on Outside Perspectives on the AUMF

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Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 1:55 PM

On Thursday of this week, Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes and Bobby Chesney, along with General Jack Keane, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee to provide “Outside Perspectives on the President’s Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” The hearing grappled with a number of difficult . . .
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Consensus on the Way Forward for an ISIL AUMF

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Even casual readers of this blog are likely aware of the longstanding (and thoroughly joined) debate between Ben and me with respect to how Congress ought to update / revisit the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised by both Ben’s prepared testimony before yesterday’s House Armed Services Committee . . .
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The End of the United States’ War in Afghanistan Requires Detainee’s Release From GTMO

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Such is this gist of this quite important Motion to Grant Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed last night by attorneys for Guantanamo detainee Mukhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi.  His filing opens as follows: Under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pub. L. No. 107-40, § 2(a), 115 Stat. 224 (2002) (“AUMF”), the Government . . .
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HASC Testimony: Towards a Better AUMF

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Prepared Testimony of Robert Chesney Charles I. Francis Professor in Law Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Director, Strauss Center for International Security & Law The University of Texas at Austin Before the House Armed Services Committee  February 26, 2015 “Outside Perspectives on the President’s Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Islamic . . .
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HASC Testimony: An Alternative to the Administration’s AUMF Draft

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Prepared Statement of Benjamin Wittes Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution before the House Committee on Armed Services “Outside Perspectives on the President’s Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” February 26, 2015 Thank you Chairman Thornberry, Ranking Member Smith, and members of the committee . . .
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Live: Benjamin Wittes and Bobby Chesney Testify Before HASC on AUMF

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 9:50 AM

At 10 am, Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes and Bobby Chesney, along with General Jack Keane, will provide testimony before the House Armed Services Committee today regarding the Obama administration’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIL.  Ben’s and Bobby’s prepared statements will follow in subsequent posts. You can watch the proceedings here on . . .
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Live: Benjamin Wittes and Michael O’Hanlon Take Questions on AUMF

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 10:30 AM

At the top of the hour, Brookings Senior Fellows Benjamin Wittes and Michael O’Hanlon will host a live webcast to discuss the president’s newly proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the legal issues involved, and the security stakes in the region. Ben and Michael will also . . .
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Six Questions Congress Should Ask the Administration about its ISIL AUMF

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Friday, February 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM

[Cross-posted at Just Security] With congressional hearings on the Obama Administration’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the Islamic State on the horizon, we propose six questions that Members of Congress should ask Administration witnesses: 1. What, exactly, is our strategic military objective? As numerous commentators have pointed out, the Administration’s . . .
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