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Category Archives: AUMF

Huh? Rep. McKeon on the White House and the Iraq AUMF

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Monday, July 28, 2014 at 5:30 PM

A little postscript to my note about Friday’s vote in the House, regarding military operations in Iraq: this quite critical statement, which House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon released on Friday. Its gist is to scold the White House, in light of a letter Susan Rice had sent to House Speaker John Boehner in advance . . .
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What Lisa Monaco Actually Said

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Monday, July 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Over at Just Security, Steve Vladeck objects to the piece Jack, Bobby, Matt and I wrote over the weekend on Lisa Monaco’s AUMF comments at the Aspen Security Forum. He argues that we are over-reading her comments. I’ll let readers judge that for themselves. Here’s a transcript (thanks to our intrepid intern, Tara Hofbauer) of . . .
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A New White House Signal on AUMF Reform?

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Sunday, July 27, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Josh Gerstein of Politico reports that “[a] top White House official suggested Saturday that Congress pass new legislation to support President Barack Obama’s authority to act against an array of terrorist groups not clearly linked to the September 11 attacks.”  Gerstein quotes White House counterterrorism czar Lisa Monaco as stating this weekend at the Aspen Security Forum: “The 2001 AUMF has provided us . . .
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Obama’s Blueprint for Fighting Terrorism Collides With Reality in Iraq

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Friday, July 4, 2014 at 8:42 AM

That is the title of a NYT story this morning by Landler, Gordon, and Mazzetti.  The “Blueprint” they have in mind is the one the President laid out at West Point, which (in their words) “relies less on American soldiers . . . and more on training troops in countries where those threats had taken . . .
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White House Letter to Congress on Iraq Deployment

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Friday, June 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM

President Obama yesterday sent the letter to the Speaker of the House, and to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.  Its text reads as follows: Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) As I reported on June 16, 2014, U.S. Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and . . .
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The Al-Aulaqi OLC Memo: A Quick and Dirty Summary

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Monday, June 23, 2014 at 4:07 PM

I have this feeling that a lot of people are going to mischaracterize the just-released OLC memo on the Anwar Al-Aulaqi strike. Just a guess. So before expressing any opinions on the subject or arguing with anyone about it, I thought I would start things out with a straight summary of the memo, which I am writing . . .
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Relitigating Guantánamo in the Context of Abu Khattala: A Different View

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Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7:00 AM

As I read Ben’s, Jack’s, John’s Steve’s and Wells’s posts, I come away with the impression that there is unanimous agreement at Lawfare that Abu Khattala (a) cannot be sent to Guantánamo for further interrogation and (b) must be tried in the civil justice system.  As a policy matter, they may be right in this particular case, but I respectfully . . .
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President Obama’s Statement on Iraq

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

President Obama will make a statement on Iraq, beginning at 1:15 p.m. Live-streaming video and the transcript of his remarks can be found below. THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. I just met with my national security team to discuss the situation in Iraq. We’ve been meeting regularly to review the situation since ISIL, a terrorist . . .
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2001 and 2002 AUMFs as Basis for Iraq Strikes?

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Various reports of the President’s meeting with congressional leaders (e.g here and here – note especially Pelosi’s comments) suggest that the administration believes that the 2001 AUMF (post-9/11) and the 2002 AUMF (that was the basis for the 2003 invasion of Iraq) together provide all the authorization it needs for any new uses of force . . .
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Civilian Trial is the Only Option for Abu Khattala

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 7:08 AM

Many have criticized the Obama administration’s plans to try the alleged leader of the Benghazi, Ahmed Abu Khattala, in civilian court.  “Ahmed Abu Khattala should be held at Guantanamo as a potential enemy combatant,” said Senator Lindsey Graham.  Representative Trey Gowdy, who is leading the House committee investigating the Benghazi attack, argued for “a noncivilian . . .
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As of Yesterday, As Many As 275 U.S. Armed Forces Personnel Are Deploying to Iraq

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Monday, June 16, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Such is the import of this letter, sent today by President Obama to the Speaker of the House.  The letter says, in pertinent part: Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) Starting on June 15, 2014, up to approximately 275 U.S. Armed Forces personnel are deploying to Iraq to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the . . .
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The Relatively Weak Article II Basis for Bombing Iraq and Syria (and, Remember the President’s August 31, 2013 Speech?)

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Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 9:12 AM

I explained yesterday why I believe the administration has a straightforward argument for relying on the 2002 Iraq AUMF if it chooses to use force against ISIS in Iraq.  (Bobby and Wells disagree, and they may be right, but I note that such purposivist arguments to limit the text of the operative authorization have not . . .
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Air Strikes and ISIS: A Quick Review of the Article II, 2001 AUMF, and 2002 AUMF Arguments

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Today President Obama ruled out sending ground forces back into Iraq, but he pointedly did not rule out the direct use of U.S. air power in kinetic operations against ISIS. The President explained that he has directed his “national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces.” . . .
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Congressional Intent, the 2002 AUMF, and ISIS

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Jack’s reading of the 2002 AUMF is more than plausible. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the executive branch adopted that reading, in searching out a statutory basis for military action against ISIS. With that said, Jack’s interpretation rests on a plain-language reading of the operative part of the 2002 AUMF, Section 3. And in that . . .
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The 2002 Iraq AUMF Almost Certainly Authorizes the President to Use Force Today in Iraq (and Might Authorize the Use of Force in Syria) [UPDATED]

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Following up on a parenthetical near the end of my last post, the 2002 Iraq AUMF states in part:  “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to . . . defend the national security of the United States against . . .
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The Unreality of “Ending the War”

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Friday, June 13, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The march of ISIS across Iraq (and in Syria), and the Obama administration’s scramble to react to it, and the new round of drone strikes in Pakistan, and continuing and growing Islamist terrorist threats from North Africa to Yemen to Afghanistan and many places in between, all got me thinking about President Obama’s NDU speech . . .
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Is the Administration Planning to Engage Congress on the AUMF in Late 2014?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 5:49 PM

One of the nice things about major presidential speeches is that they often are occasions during which reporters separately get to grill unnamed “senior administration officials” for clarification.  So it was today, as seen in this transcript that the White House released today involving a background session with reporters following the President’s West Point address . . .
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The Uncertain Future of Military Detention Authority as “Combat Operations” in Afghanistan End

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Scooping his own speech tomorrow at West Point, President Obama today announced his decision on future US force levels in Afghanistan.  Assuming that the winner of the Afghan presidential election will indeed sign the new Bilateral Security Agreement (which both leading candidates have pledged to do), the US will: – reduce its presence to 9800 . . .
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Senator Corker on AUMF Reform

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Sunday, May 25, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Senator Corker has an op-ed in the WP on the need to update the AUMF.   He documents the growth of extra-AUMF terrorist threats and then argues: These incidents seem to suggest that the September 2001 Authorization on the Use of Military Force (AUMF) is too narrow and that the president is hamstrung by stale semantic . . .
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Raha Wala Responds on AUMF Debate

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Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 7:51 AM

Raha Wala of Human Rights First writes in with some reactions to my posts last week on the AUMF hearings, to which I respond briefly at the end. Jack’s posts on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Hearing on the AUMF raise important issues regarding the administration’s claimed Article II authorities to use force (see . . .
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