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Category Archives: AUMF: Scope and Reach

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.

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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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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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.

Why Does the AUMF Debate Even Matter?

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Friday, November 14, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Midday yesterday, I ran into a prominent national security reporter on the street near Brookings. The conversation quickly turned, as conversations tend to turn in our circles in Washington these days, to proposals for a new AUMF. We talked briefly about the one that Jack, Bobby, Matt, and I had drafted and about its areas of common ground . . .
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CRS Analysis of AUMF Proposals

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Friday, November 14, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Via Secrecy News, I see that the CRS has summarized and analyzed the seven proposals in Congress for a New AUMF.

The Legal Consequences of Islamic State + Al Qaeda Cooperation, and Implications for AUMF Reform

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Friday, November 14, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Deb Riechman at AP is reporting: Militant leaders from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida gathered at a farm house in northern Syria last week and agreed on a plan to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents, a high-level Syrian opposition official and a rebel commander have told The Associated Press. . . .
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The Preamble to the ISIS AUMF

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Allow me to stress an issue perhaps in the capillaries, rather than at the heart, of the ISIS AUMF debate: language in the next AUMF’s preamble. So far as I know, nobody is talking about this just yet. And that makes sense, given the need first to agree about what the broader contours of a congressional authorization—substantive . . .
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Wilson Center Event on ISIS and Congressional Authorization

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Streaming video is below. As noted earlier, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va) will give remarks on ISIS and congressional authorization; afterwards, Wilson Center Director and former Representative Jane Harman, and Lawfare’s own Jack Goldsmith, will join with Senator Kaine for a moderated discussion. UPDATE: the event has ended. Archived video can be found here; Senator Kaine’s remarks can . . .
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A New AUMF, The Lame-Duck Session, and the Meaning of Sunset Clauses

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Two quick reactions to John Bellinger’s post on a new ISIL AUMF: I agree that the new Congress and not the lame duck Congress is best suited to revise the 2001 AUMF (and, in my opinion, also to put the war against ISIL on a firmer statutory footing).  I don’t think our proposal suggested otherwise.  . . .
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The Lame Duck Congress Should Not Sunset the 2001 AUMF

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 7:53 PM

I am troubled that the two proposals for a new AUMF posted by my Lawfare colleagues (Jack, Bobby, Ben, and Matt) and by a group at Just Security — while constructive — would both repeal the 2001 AUMF.   The Lawfare proposal would repeal it immediately and fold it into a new AUMF that would also . . .
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A Response to Steve Vladeck on the AUMF Principles

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 1:51 PM

I am a little perplexed by Steve’s response to my critique of the AUMF principles he helped write. Steve accuses me of “hiding the ball.” But he seems to me, rather, to be moving the goalposts. He may have moved them into a position that, as he suggests, gives rise to less disagreement on my part . . .
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Ben’s Sweeping Endorsement of the Just Security AUMF Principles

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

In his post this morning, Ben identifies what he calls “flaws” with three of the six principles for a use-of-force authorization for ISIL that were introduced yesterday by a group of legal experts (that includes me). Although Ben has done us the courtesy of critiquing the Principles, it appears he didn’t actually read them all . . .
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Why Three of the Six Just Security AUMF Principles are Flawed

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

By coincidence, the same day that Jack, Bobby, Matt and I released our draft AUMF text, a group associated with Just Security released a document entitled “Principles to Guide Congressional Authorization of the Continued Use of Force Against ISIL.” There’s a lot of common ground between this set of principles and our text, but in my view . . .
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