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Category Archives: AUMF: Legislative Reaffirmation

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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Agreeing with Harold Koh on the Need For and Contours of a New AUMF

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Friday, May 23, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I find myself mostly agreeing with the essentials of Harold Koh’s testimony and post on “ending” the Forever War, especially his proposal for a new and narrowed AUMF.  I hope this doesn’t cause my old teacher to change his mind. By ending the Forever War, Koh appears to mean (a) declaring war against al Qaeda (and, possibly, . . .
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Article II in the Spotlight at Wednesday’s AUMF Hearing before SFRC

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Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM

Wednesday’s AUMF hearing underscored a point that I develop at some length in my paper Postwar: repeal of the AUMF would not require, as a legal matter, that the government forgo the use of lethal force in the counterterrorism setting nearly so much as many assume. Why not? Because this administration, like many before it, . . .
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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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Questions that Should Be Asked at Today’s Senate AUMF Hearing

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:10 AM

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has a hearing this morning concerning the future of the AUMF, featuring DOD General Counsel Stephen Preston, State Department Principle Deputy Legal Adviser Mary Macleod, Harold Koh, and Michael Mukasey.  As it happens I’m in DC with some free time this morning, so I’ll do my best to be there . . .
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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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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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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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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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On the Legal Consequences of Moving Away from the Armed-Conflict Model of Counterterrorism

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Friday, October 4, 2013 at 3:03 PM

When it comes to detention and drone strikes, both critics and supporters of the status quo assume that abandoning the armed-conflict model would have not just diplomatic and legal effects but also a significant legal effect.  Critics bank on it, supporters fear it.  But what if their common assumption is wrong?  It’s a question I . . .
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Marty Lederman on the President’s Syria Press Conference, and a Brief Response

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Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Marty Lederman writes in with a response to my last post: A quick, response to Jack’s reading of the President’s remarks in Stockholm yesterday: One should be very cautious, of course, about reading too much into an executive’s particular phrasing at a press conference–it is rarely the sort of thing that has received careful, interagency . . .
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The Senate Draft AUMF for Syria is Narrower Than the Administration’s Draft, But Still Broad In Some Respects

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 5:03 AM

The draft Senate Syria AUMF contains a narrower authorization for the use of presidential force than the one the administration proposed.  But it is in some respects still broad, and it actually enhances the president’s claims of independent constitutional authority to intervene in Syria. Before parsing the draft, a few background points to keep in . . .
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