Skip to content

Category Archives: AUMF: Legislative Reaffirmation

Honorable Mention: Sen. Tim Kaine

By
Friday, September 19, 2014 at 9:21 AM

I have spent a lot of time over the past several years—as have many Americans—marveling at the horribleness of the United States Congress. And like many people of a romantically historical bent, I have often wondered how political institutions created and once occupied by such intellectual giants as were ours came to be dominated by . . .
Read more »

Too Soon to Assess the President’s Invocation of the 2001 AUMF as to ISIS?

By
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Over the past week there has been much talk about the President’s invocation of the 2001 AUMF in connection with ISIS. Many (including me) expressed considerable surprise, and doubt, about the merits of that argument. Which raises the question: will anything come of objections? One view is that this ship has sailed. Writing today at . . .
Read more »

In Re Directives Documents Released

By
Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 8:48 PM

As we noted earlier today, documents bearing on the In Re Directives litigation have now been declassified. The voluminous materials—including briefs and an apparently less redacted version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review’s 2008 opinion—indeed can now be found at the DNI’s Tumblr site, and below. We’ll likely have more to say on this; stay . . .
Read more »

ISIL as al Qaeda: Three Reactions

By
Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 1:52 AM

Like Bobby, Wells, and Ben, I, too, was surprised to discover that the Obama Administration’s legal theory (for the moment) appears to be that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) can be targeted under the 2001 AUMF despite its very public split from al Qaeda. That said, I think all three of my friends miss the animating premise of the . . .
Read more »

A White House Trial Balloon Trying Out the 2002 Iraq AUMF?

By
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 10:59 PM

According to this story in the Post, an unidentified administration official–maybe the President, maybe not–has raised the possibility that the plans for a ramped-up campaign against IS will not need fresh congressional authorization because…wait for it…the 2002 Iraq AUMF remains on the books: The president “thinks he has the legal authority he needs” to increase . . .
Read more »

More on Iraq’s Implications for the Continuing Relevance of the 2001 AUMF

By
Monday, September 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Yesterday I posed the question whether the 2001 AUMF has any continuing significance, legally-speaking, for counterterrorism activities (especially drone strikes) in Pakistan, Yemen, etc., given that the President is “confident that [he] has the authorization that [he] need[s]” to do what has been done in Iraq and also to support the expanded role that he . . .
Read more »

If We Don’t Need an AUMF for Iraq, Why Would Repeal of the 2001 AUMF Matter?

By
Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 6:59 PM

This coming Wednesday evening, President Obama will address the country on the topic of Iraq and the Islamic State, describing his strategy and making the case to the public to support an approach that not only will involve a continuation of the ongoing pattern of airstrikes (see here for a description of the latest set . . .
Read more »

Squaring a New AUMF for ISIL with the President’s NDU Speech…

By
Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

As Bobby has noted, Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post is reporting that the Administration is now considering more seriously whether to ask Congress for authorization to use military force against the Islamic State.  Jack has argued persuasively why it would make sense for the President to seek a congressional mandate. And it is worth noting . . .
Read more »

Why the President Should Seek Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force Against The Islamic State [UPDATE on War Powers Resolution]

By
Friday, August 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM

A few days ago I discussed why President Obama is shying away from seeking congressional authorization to use force against The Islamic State (IS, or ISIS, or ISIL).  But as the aims and scope of U.S. military involvement against IS expand on a daily basis, the case for the President getting Congress formally on board . . .
Read more »

National Security Network Proposes Plan to Repeal AUMF

By
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 6:34 PM

The National Security Network has released a new report entitled “Ending the Endless War: An Incremental Approach to Repealing the 2001 AUMF.” The report suggests a series of measures to cap and eventually roll back the authorization, which it outlines in three major steps: Limits in time by inserting a sunset clause to put the law . . .
Read more »

The Case for Seeking Congressional Authorization for the Iraq Strikes – Made by President Obama

By
Friday, August 8, 2014 at 8:16 PM

It is pretty clear that President Obama today relied on Article II to attack the Islamist State (IS) in Iraq.  I have addressed the legality of such unilateral military action here and here.  I have also argued that the 2002 AUMF could be used as a basis for attacks in Iraq now.  But the administration appears . . .
Read more »

Quick Thoughts on the (Domestic) Legal Basis for Air Strikes in Iraq

By
Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 2:03 PM

As Wells notes, the Obama administration is contemplating air strikes in Iraq to protect threatened religious minorities there. Setting aside the moral and strategic merits of such strikes, how might they be consistent with domestic law? The President has three possible legal bases for the strikes. The first is the 2001 AUMF.  The problem with relying on . . .
Read more »

DecodeDC on the AUMF

By
Friday, August 1, 2014 at 9:34 PM

The podcast DecodeDC has a new episode out on the question of the future of the AUMF. It’s largely a pair of interviews with Jennifer Daskal and me. A good introduction to the subject, in my opinion.

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

By
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 . . .
Read more »

What Lisa Monaco Actually Said

By
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 . . .
Read more »

A New White House Signal on AUMF Reform?

By , , and
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 . . .
Read more »

The Unreality of “Ending the War”

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Is the Administration Planning to Engage Congress on the AUMF in Late 2014?

By
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 . . .
Read more »

The Uncertain Future of Military Detention Authority as “Combat Operations” in Afghanistan End

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Senator Corker on AUMF Reform

By
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 . . .
Read more »