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Category Archives: AUMF: Scope and Reach

More on the Administration’s AUMF Strategy

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Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM

A friend who is familiar with Obama administration thinking responds to my post on yesterday’s AUMF hearing: The administration’s focus is not on ending the war, but on ensuring that future presidents don’t have the latitude the AUMF provides. The focus is on restraint. And the message is not intended to be read as supporting . . .
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Reactions to Foreign Relations Committee Hearing on the AUMF

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:12 PM

There is much to say about today’s hearing on the AUMF, and I am sure my colleagues will weigh in with much more.  But I have two quick reactions for now. First, I suggest reading two recent Eli Lake articles together.  The first is about internal Executive branch debates about how to characterize the continuing threat from al . . .
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Live: Senate Hearing on the AUMF

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 10:40 AM

As Bobby noted earlier, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding a hearing entitled: “Authorization For Use Of Military Force After Iraq And Afghanistan.” The witness list and prepared testimonies follow. Witnesses Panel One The Honorable Stephen W. Preston General Counsel Department of Defense Washington , DC Download Testimony Ms. Mary Mcleod Principal Deputy Legal Adviser Department of State . . .
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Yemen Conflict Update: Expanded US Military Role on the Way?

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Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 9:54 AM

An interesting tidbit today regarding US involvement in Yemen, from Politico’s first-rate briefer Morning Defense: MORE MILITARY SUPPORT COULD BE COMING: Shy of putting boots on the ground, the U.S. government is receptive to additional military cooperation with the Yemeni government if requested, a DoD official told Morning D. Currently, the U.S. military and the . . .
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Oversight & JSOC: Withholding Funds to Force Disclosures on Targeting Process?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Has DOD failed to comply with its statutory obligation to explain to Congress how the executive branch decides which groups and persons are within the scope of the AUMF? HASC Chairman McKeon has released the Chairman’s Mark for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 (“NDAA FY’15″),  HR 4435.  As always there is . . .
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How Not to Amend the AUMF, Duncan Hunter Edition

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Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Ashley beat me to the punch in flagging today’s news about Rep. Duncan Hunter’s plan to introduce legislation that would amend the September 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to authorize the Obama Administration to go after those terrorists (and terrorist groups) responsible for the September 11, 2012 attacks against the U.S. . . .
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Are the Benghazi Attackers Lawfully Targetable?

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Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Over at Foreign Policy, Dan Lamothe reports that Rep. Duncan Hunter will introduce legislation on May 7 that would authorize the Executive Branch to target the individuals who attacked the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi.  Hunter apparently would amend the 2001 AUMF to include the Benghazi attackers as lawful targets.  The idea of cracking open . . .
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More on the Afghan Drawdown’s Destabilizing Impact on Detention Law

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Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Excellent recent posts by Ben and Marty draw attention to the impact that the drawdown in Afghanistan likely will have on GTMO habeas litigation. I agree; we will certainly see a fresh wave of litigation.  And as part of that wave, we will see the argument that the law of armed conflict no longer applies . . .
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Marty Lederman on Justice Breyer’s Hussain Opinion

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Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 7:06 AM

Very interesting and thoughtful comments over at Just Security by Marty Lederman on Justice Breyer’s brief opinion in the Hussain cert denial the other day. Marty writes: As Justice Breyer notes . . ., the Supreme Court has never actually opined on whether being a member of Taliban forces, standing alone, is sufficient for AUMF detention.  Justice O’Connor’s controlling . . .
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A Summary of Friday’s Decision in al-Aulaqi v. Panetta

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Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:19 PM

As Ben mentioned on Friday, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a Bivens suit brought by the families of Anwar al-Aulaqi, his son Abdulrahman, and Samir Khan—three U.S. citizens killed in U.S. drone strikes in 2011—seeking to hold various federal officials personally liable for their roles in . . .
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Thornberry and Lumpkin on AUMF Renewal

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Friday, March 21, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Last week I noted an interesting exchange on AUMF renewal (and life in a post-AUMF world) during Michael Lumpkin’s March 11 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  When Lumpkin appeared before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, two days later, Representative Mac Thornberry (a graduate of UT Law, I . . .
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Michael Lumpkin (ASD-SO/LIC) on Revisiting the AUMF and Article II as a Backstop

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Friday, March 14, 2014 at 6:10 PM

The slow-boil debate regarding the fate of the 2001 AUMF continues.  The subject came up on March 11 when Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (SO/LIC) Michael Lumpkin testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Micah Zenko has very helpfully posted key passages from the transcript here, and these are the lines that . . .
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Director Brennan on al Qaeda’s Associated Forces and Jabhat al-Nusrah

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

In an interview conducted yesterday at the Council on Foreign Relations, CIA Director John Brennan had an interesting exchange with Audrey Kurth Cronin on the subject of al Qaeda’s organizational scope.  Kronin asked: So my question is, we tend to use a shorthand with respect to al-Qaida, calling every group that has a Salafist agenda . . .
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The Clear and Convincing Standard and Citizen Drone Strikes

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Friday, February 28, 2014 at 3:14 PM

When last we debated the Government’s legal authority to kill an American terrorist overseas, some big-ticket questions had to do with proof: exactly how much evidence would be required before executive branch officials would approve a lethal drone strike against U.S. citizen?  And what sorts of proof would suffice, in establishing a target’s stature in . . .
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What is the Domestic Legal Basis for Planned Cyberattacks in Syria?

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 8:12 AM

David Sanger reports that the Pentagon and the NSA planned a sophisticated cyberattack aimed at “the Syrian military and President Bashar al-Assad’s command structure” that “would essentially turn the lights out for Assad.” He also reports that President Obama declined to go forward with the attacks then or since because of uncertainty about the proper role of offensive . . .
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The ISIS Expulsion and the AUMF

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:39 AM

Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller report in the WP that Al-Qaeda’s recent expulsion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has raised questions about whether the AUMF “still applies” to ISIS.  “According to some administration lawyers and intelligence officials,” they report, “the expulsion of ISIS removes the group from the short list of . . .
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Reactions to Stories on Possible New U.S. Citizen Strike

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7:18 AM

Some thoughts on this morning’s drone strike news (NYT, WSJ). The NYT says that President Obama’s announcement last May of an intention “to gradually shift drone operations from the C.I.A. to the Pentagon” was designed in part “to make them more transparent.”  The theory, I think, was that CIA strikes are covert and cannot be . . .
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Gregory Johnsen on the History of the AUMF

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 8:07 AM

The estimable Gregory Johnsen has a lengthy article in Buzzfeed about the history of the AUMF. Entitled “60 Words and War Without End: The Untold Story of the Most Dangerous Sentence in U.S. History,” the article gives a critical history of the AUMF seen through the lens of several people who have played roles in its . . .
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Is the AUMF Next?

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Friday, January 17, 2014 at 7:34 AM

Hmmmm. Here’s a very interesting few paragraphs from the Wall Street Journal: The president’s speech, to be delivered at the Justice Department, caps a process that was similar to the one he undertook on other controversial, post-Sept. 11 issues, such as the use of armed drones and closing the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. . . .
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The Effect of the Proposed Repeal of the 2002 Iraq AUMF

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Friday, January 10, 2014 at 3:07 PM

The Washington Post reports that Senator Paul “plans to introduce legislation to repeal the use-of-force resolution that paved the way for the Iraq war,” and notes that President Obama supports the repeal of the Iraq AUMF.  The 2002 Iraq AUMF authorizes the President to use necessary and appropriate force to “(1) defend the national security . . .
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