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Category Archives: AUMF

Live: Benjamin Wittes and Michael O’Hanlon Take Questions on AUMF

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at 10:30 AM

At the top of the hour, Brookings Senior Fellows Benjamin Wittes and Michael O’Hanlon will host a live webcast to discuss the president’s newly proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the legal issues involved, and the security stakes in the region. Ben and Michael will also . . .
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Six Questions Congress Should Ask the Administration about its ISIL AUMF

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Friday, February 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM

[Cross-posted at Just Security] With congressional hearings on the Obama Administration’s proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) for the Islamic State on the horizon, we propose six questions that Members of Congress should ask Administration witnesses: 1. What, exactly, is our strategic military objective? As numerous commentators have pointed out, the Administration’s . . .
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Errors and Misconceptions About the Obama Draft AUMF

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Monday, February 16, 2015 at 3:03 PM

Much of the discussion in recent days about the Obama draft AUMF for ISIL contains mistakes and misconceptions, at least as I see matters. The Draft AUMF Does Not Limit The President.  The biggest canard has come from several Republicans who continue to talk as if the President has proposed an authorization that limits his . . .
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Reactions to the President’s AUMF Draft Don’t Augur Well

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Monday, February 16, 2015 at 9:23 AM

The New York Times thinks President Obama’s draft AUMF is dangerously broad: The parameters of a proposed war authorization the White House sent toCongress on Wednesday, however, are alarmingly broad. It does not limit the battlefield to Syria and Iraq, the strongholds of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which is attempting to . . .
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Reactions to the ISIL-Specific AUMF

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Below you will find a compilation of public statements and reactions to President Obama’s draft ISIL-specific AUMF.  In short: Democrats are concerned there aren’t enough limits, and Republicans can’t understand why President Obama is not being aggressive enough. (And of course, Jack Goldsmith finds it hard to fathom.) Republicans Speaker John Boehner ISIL is at war . . .
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The Ongoing Shift from Global War to Global Self-Defense Against Terrorism: Afghanistan Edition

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 12:30 PM

Have you been pondering the meaning of the ban on “enduring offensive” ground combat operations included in the administration’s draft ISIS AUMF? Wondering what it means in practice for the US military to have a ground presence contemplating some SOF activity targeting high-value enemies and front-line support to host-state forces, while not crossing the “enduring . . .
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More on Administration’s Draft AUMF

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Some follow-ups to my earlier post on the administration’s ISIL-specific AUMF: Marty Lederman has a good analysis of the substance of the draft AUMF that is consonant with my analysis.  Marty charitably notes that the draft “raises some questions that I doubt the President intended to leave unsettled for future administrations.”  Those questions include the . . .
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A Possible Answer to Jack’s AUMF Question

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 7:53 AM

Jack ends his excellent and comprehensive post this morning, a post which I will not try to summarize, with the following statement: I just don’t get the calculation.  It seems that the President could have attracted much broader support in Congress, and avoided a lot of political and legacy headaches, while at the same time maintaining . . .
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The Administration’s Hard-To-Fathom Draft AUMF

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Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 6:33 AM

Before I get to analysis and criticism, let me give the Obama administration credit for proposing a draft AUMF yesterday.  The administration’s many promises about working with Congress to craft an AUMF for the Islamic State (ISIL), combined with the lack of a concrete proposal that has long been the President’s responsibility, had led me . . .
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Notes on Reading the President’s AUMF Proposal

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10:36 AM

Here are the key policy judgments in the President’s AUMF proposal: “The President is authorized . . . to use the Armed Forces of the United States as the President determines to be necessary and appropriate against ISIL or associated persons or forces. . . .” This is a slightly odd formulation that differs from the . . .
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White House ISIL AUMF Released to Congress

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 9:52 AM

This morning, the White House released a proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to Congress. You can find the AUMF transmittal letter and the text of the draft AUMF below. Lawfare will have more on the proposed draft in the days to come. AUMF Transmittal . . .
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Will President Obama Go Where He Promised He Wouldn’t?

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 8:16 AM

Over at Just Security, Steve Vladeck and a group of scholars have posted a letter to President Obama asking him to include in his AUMF proposal not merely a sunset for the new ISIS AUMF but one for the underlying 2001 AUMF too. “We think it is . . . vitally important that any statute . . .
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The Meaningful Legal Differences Between Stateside and Guantánamo Detention

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Gabor’s post from this morning, which is styled as a response to Ben’s thoughtful analysis of what it will take to close Guantánamo (while ignoring some of the other responses), concludes that the only meaningful way to “close” Guantánamo is for President Obama “to either release all detainees or try them in our time-tested federal courts,” at least largely . . .
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Why a Sunset Clause is Important in Any New AUMF

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 10:24 AM

The rumors circulating that the administration might in the next week finally present a draft AUMF against the Islamic State causes me to ask: What is the point of a new AUMF? Military operations against al Qaeda and its associates and the Taliban – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and almost certainly (according to Mark . . .
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How Not to Close Guantanamo: Bring It Here

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Ben asks “What Would it Take to Close Guantanamo?” and he provides a thoughtful response weighted toward the political landscape. But there’s another not-so-merely-philosophical question that underlies his question: what does it mean to “close Guantanamo?” For purposes of rapprochement with Cuba it may have to mean U.S. out of Guantanamo altogether. That’s not going . . .
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Rep. Adam Schiff Introduces Updated AUMF

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 5:38 PM

Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves as the ranking member on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has released a revised and updated draft Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The bill is broadly similar the one that Representative Schiff introduced last September. Like the previous . . .
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What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

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Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Ben bemoans the state our nation’s current debate over Guantanamo as “terrible,” observing that “the arguments about Guantanamo are nearly all wrong, disingenuous, irrelevant, or just plain dumb.”  It’s true that Guantanamo—like most political issues—sometimes takes on a special kind of inside-the-beltway rhetorical flavor that can really annoy the wonks, who would much rather focus . . .
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The Obama Administration Does Not Want a New AUMF

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 6:35 AM

Last night the President “call[ed] on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL.”  This comes on the heels of his November statement that “I’m going to begin engaging Congress over a new authorization to use military force . . .
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Relevant Passages of President Obama’s State of the Union Address

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 9:32 PM

The following are the passages of tonight’s State of the Union address that seem to me most relevant to the Lawfare readership: Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.  Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Today, fewer than 15,000 remain.  And we salute the courage . . .
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Text of Senator Ayotte’s GTMO Transfers Bill

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM

As promised, here it is. The rather unfortunate-seeming proposal provides, in full: 114TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S.__ To extend and enhance prohibitions and limitations with respect to the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Ms. AYOTTE (for herself, Mr. GRAHAM, . . .
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