Skip to content

Category Archives: AUMF

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 Iraq Strikes Just Grew Stronger

By
Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 12:28 PM

In his WPR notification yesterday, President Obama stated that military operations in Iraq “will be limited in their scope and duration.”   But today, according to the NYT, President Obama “sought to prepare Americans for an extended presence in the skies over Iraq, telling reporters on Saturday that the airstrikes he ordered this week could go on . . .
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 »

The Legal Stakes in an Article II Humanitarian Intervention in Iraq

By
Friday, August 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Yesterday I maintained that the Iraq strikes were not legally problematic to the extent that they were justified as self-defense of U.S. persons, but said that “[i]f the Iraq strikes are conceptualized as pure humanitarian intervention, they would go further than even the Kosovo and Libya precedents, for they would lack both congressional authorization or any . . .
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 »

Air Strikes or Supply Drops in Iraq?

By
Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 12:30 PM

The New York Times reports:  WASHINGTON — President Obama is considering airstrikes or airdrops of food and medicine to address a humanitarian crisis among as many as 40,000 religious minorities in Iraq who have been dying of heat and thirst on a mountaintop after death threats from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, administration officials said . . .
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 »

Obama’s Blueprint for Fighting Terrorism Collides With Reality in Iraq

By
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 . . .
Read more »

White House Letter to Congress on Iraq Deployment

By
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 . . .
Read more »

The Al-Aulaqi OLC Memo: A Quick and Dirty Summary

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Relitigating Guantánamo in the Context of Abu Khattala: A Different View

By
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 . . .
Read more »

President Obama’s Statement on Iraq

By
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 . . .
Read more »

2001 and 2002 AUMFs as Basis for Iraq Strikes?

By
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 . . .
Read more »

Civilian Trial is the Only Option for Abu Khattala

By
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 . . .
Read more »

As of Yesterday, As Many As 275 U.S. Armed Forces Personnel Are Deploying to Iraq

By
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 . . .
Read more »

The Relatively Weak Article II Basis for Bombing Iraq and Syria (and, Remember the President’s August 31, 2013 Speech?)

By
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 . . .
Read more »