Lashkar-e-Taiba as an "Associated Force" Engaged in Hostilities Against the US and Its Allies

By Robert Chesney
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 1:00 PM

For those who wish to understand the organizational boundaries of the AUMF these days, Lashkar-e-Taiba provides an interesting and important test case.  Grist for the mill is found in this piece in Long War Journal, which discusses a recent raid resulting in the capture of a senior Lashkar commander in Afghanistan as well as similar operations in the past.

The Lashkar presence in Afghanistan seems to satisfy the "associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States or its allies" test, but how far does that logic extend? Does it encompass all LeT members, including the larger bulk of them located in Pakistan?  And all substantial supporters as well?  Or should one draw distinctions within the organization in some fashion, with an eye toward encompassing within the AUMF solely those parts of it that contribute to operations in Afghanistan?