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Category Archives: AUMF

A New AUMF, The Lame-Duck Session, and the Meaning of Sunset Clauses

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Two quick reactions to John Bellinger’s post on a new ISIL AUMF: I agree that the new Congress and not the lame duck Congress is best suited to revise the 2001 AUMF (and, in my opinion, also to put the war against ISIL on a firmer statutory footing).  I don’t think our proposal suggested otherwise.  . . .
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The Lame Duck Congress Should Not Sunset the 2001 AUMF

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 7:53 PM

I am troubled that the two proposals for a new AUMF posted by my Lawfare colleagues (Jack, Bobby, Ben, and Matt) and by a group at Just Security — while constructive — would both repeal the 2001 AUMF.   The Lawfare proposal would repeal it immediately and fold it into a new AUMF that would also . . .
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A Response to Steve Vladeck on the AUMF Principles

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 1:51 PM

I am a little perplexed by Steve’s response to my critique of the AUMF principles he helped write. Steve accuses me of “hiding the ball.” But he seems to me, rather, to be moving the goalposts. He may have moved them into a position that, as he suggests, gives rise to less disagreement on my part . . .
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Ben’s Sweeping Endorsement of the Just Security AUMF Principles

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

In his post this morning, Ben identifies what he calls “flaws” with three of the six principles for a use-of-force authorization for ISIL that were introduced yesterday by a group of legal experts (that includes me). Although Ben has done us the courtesy of critiquing the Principles, it appears he didn’t actually read them all . . .
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Why Three of the Six Just Security AUMF Principles are Flawed

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 9:25 AM

By coincidence, the same day that Jack, Bobby, Matt and I released our draft AUMF text, a group associated with Just Security released a document entitled “Principles to Guide Congressional Authorization of the Continued Use of Force Against ISIL.” There’s a lot of common ground between this set of principles and our text, but in my view . . .
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Why A Substantively Neutral But Procedurally Constraining AUMF Makes Sense

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 5:55 AM

A few weeks ago Matthew Waxman and I ended our critical essay on President Obama’s war powers legacy by noting that “Obama’s legacy will look quite different if, after the midterm elections, he seeks and receives congressional authorization for the use of force against IS, especially if he also works with Congress on a framework . . .
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A Draft AUMF to Get the Discussion Going

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

President Obama said last week that he wants an AUMF for the ISIL conflict, and he further stated that he wants to “right-size and update whatever authorization Congress provides to suit the current fight, rather than previous fights.” So we thought we would draft a notional AUMF along those lines to get a discussion going. What . . .
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Event at Wilson Center on Islamic State AUMF and Related Issues

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Monday, November 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM

On Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. the Wilson Center will host an event on Congress’s role in the conflict against the Islamic State entitled Congress, the Presidency and Military Intervention.  Senator Kaine, who has taken the lead in urging the President to seek congressional authorization for the use of force against the Islamic State, will . . .
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The Complexities in an Islamic State AUMF

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Friday, November 7, 2014 at 6:42 AM

In August I described a politically palatable AUMF against the Islamic State (IS).  What was politically palatable in August is not necessarily politically palatable after three months of air strikes, however, and will likely be even less so when a new and different-looking Congress comes to power next year.  In August the emphasis was on . . .
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Obama Declares Intent to Seek an ISIS AUMF…Will the 2001 AUMF Be Amended Along the Way?

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 7:02 PM

It…is…on. At a press briefing today, President Obama declared three legislative priorities for the lame-duck Congress in the weeks ahead. One is to get an AUMF for ISIS: Second, I’m going to begin engaging Congress over a new Authorization to Use Military Force against ISIL. The world needs to know we are united behind this . . .
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So What Does the New Republican Majority Mean for National Security Issues In Congress?

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 4:17 PM

The result is no surprise: Republicans now control both houses of Congress—or, at least, they will come January. I’ll leave it to others to dissect how we should understand last night’s electoral results in political terms, what it means for President Obama, the 2016 election, or the future of American politics. Here I want to focus . . .
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End of Forever War Watch, Election Day Edition

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 8:49 AM

The wise Walter Pincus had a good piece yesterday in the WP that makes two points: (1) the United States’ fight “against the so-called Islamic State has just begun and will last for years,” and (2) “Iraqi boots on the ground are the only ones that can defeat the Islamic State in Iraq. But that . . .
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Susan Rice Did Not Consult DOD When She Urged Repeal of 2002 AUMF That DOD (Correctly) Thought Was “Still Needed”

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Monday, October 27, 2014 at 8:18 AM

Michael Hirsh has a piece at Politico on the disorganized, uncoordinated crafting and implementation of the administration’s strategy to defeat the Islamic State.  Of particular interest to Lawfare readers is the news that National Security Advisor Susan Rice failed to consult with DOD when she wrote a letter to Congress last summer asking for the . . .
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President Obama Is Right

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 5:18 PM

President Obama is right. He was right when he said, as a presidential candidate in 2007, that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” And he was right that “military action is most . . .
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Obama Administration Explains Why It Thinks Islamic State Strikes Comply With War Powers Resolution

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Last week I explained that a likely major reason for the Obama administration’s switch from an Article II rationale for air strikes against the Islamic State to an AUMF rationale (2001 and 2002) was compliance with the War Power s Resolution (WPR).  Section 5(b) of the WPR requires the President to “terminate any use of . . .
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Obama’s Surprising War Powers Legacy

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 8:56 AM

We have an essay in The New Republic titled Obama, Not Bush, Is the Master of Unilateral War.  It argues that President Obama, ironically in light of his own lofty rhetoric about lodging war decisions with “the people’s representatives” in Congress, has through his practices created new precedents that push outward the boundaries of unilateral . . .
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End of “Forever War” Watch, Columbus Day Weekend Edition

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Monday, October 13, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Last year President Obama called for the end of the 2001 AUMF conflict and wagged his finger at people who thought continued statutory authority was needed to meet the continuing and morphing Islamic terrorist threats.  You know the lines.  “I will not sign laws designed to expand this [2001 AUMF] mandate further,” and “this war, . . .
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What Will U.S. Troops in Baghdad Do When Islamic State Militants Arrive?

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Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 4:01 PM

There are several stories today about how Islamic State militants are threatening Baghdad.  Some of the stories suggest that “an all-out assault on Baghdad” may be in the cards, while others say that the militants will instead simply “wreak havoc” on the city from its western edge.  Whichever is right, Islamic State forces are threatening . . .
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Fresh Out of NCTC Office, Matthew Olsen Speaks at Harvard Law School

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Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Matthew Olsen, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, stopped by Harvard Law School last week to offer his perspective on the changing nature of the terrorist threat. After giving a brief primer on the origins and goals of ISIL, Olsen tackled thornier questions: what is the United States’s strategy for dealing with ISIL and other . . .
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On Ryan Goodman’s Hopeful Take on Ending the Forever War (Or: Why Legal Debates About the 2001 AUMF Don’t Affect National Security Reality)

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Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 3:14 PM

A few responses to Ryan Goodman’s reality-defying take on my claim that the Obama administration’s idea of ending the “Forever War” is dead: *       Legal rationales debated by law professors will have zero influence on the duration of the “Forever War.”  The actions of the Islamist terrorists, and our success in defeating . . .
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