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Category Archives: AUMF

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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Errors and Misconceptions About the Obama Draft AUMF

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Monday, February 16, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Much of the discussion in recent days about the Obama draft AUMF for ISIL contains mistakes and misconceptions, at least as I see matters. The Draft AUMF Does Not Limit The President.  The biggest canard has come from several Republicans who continue to talk as if the President has proposed an authorization that limits his . . .
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Reactions to the President’s AUMF Draft Don’t Augur Well

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Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9:23 AM

The New York Times thinks President Obama’s draft AUMF is dangerously broad: The parameters of a proposed war authorization the White House sent toCongress on Wednesday, however, are alarmingly broad. It does not limit the battlefield to Syria and Iraq, the strongholds of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which is attempting to . . .
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Reactions to the ISIL-Specific AUMF

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Below you will find a compilation of public statements and reactions to President Obama’s draft ISIL-specific AUMF.  In short: Democrats are concerned there aren’t enough limits, and Republicans can’t understand why President Obama is not being aggressive enough. (And of course, Jack Goldsmith finds it hard to fathom.) Republicans Speaker John Boehner ISIL is at war . . .
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The Ongoing Shift from Global War to Global Self-Defense Against Terrorism: Afghanistan Edition

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Have you been pondering the meaning of the ban on “enduring offensive” ground combat operations included in the administration’s draft ISIS AUMF? Wondering what it means in practice for the US military to have a ground presence contemplating some SOF activity targeting high-value enemies and front-line support to host-state forces, while not crossing the “enduring . . .
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More on Administration’s Draft AUMF

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Some follow-ups to my earlier post on the administration’s ISIL-specific AUMF: Marty Lederman has a good analysis of the substance of the draft AUMF that is consonant with my analysis.  Marty charitably notes that the draft “raises some questions that I doubt the President intended to leave unsettled for future administrations.”  Those questions include the . . .
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A Possible Answer to Jack’s AUMF Question

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 7:53 AM

Jack ends his excellent and comprehensive post this morning, a post which I will not try to summarize, with the following statement: I just don’t get the calculation.  It seems that the President could have attracted much broader support in Congress, and avoided a lot of political and legacy headaches, while at the same time maintaining . . .
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The Administration’s Hard-To-Fathom Draft AUMF

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6:33 AM

Before I get to analysis and criticism, let me give the Obama administration credit for proposing a draft AUMF yesterday.  The administration’s many promises about working with Congress to craft an AUMF for the Islamic State (ISIL), combined with the lack of a concrete proposal that has long been the President’s responsibility, had led me . . .
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Notes on Reading the President’s AUMF Proposal

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10:36 AM

Here are the key policy judgments in the President’s AUMF proposal: “The President is authorized . . . to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines to be necessary and appropriate against ISIL or associated persons or forces. . . .” This is a slightly odd formulation that differs from the . . .
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