I think any objective evaluation of the facts has to conclude that U.S. military operations against al Qaeda outside of Afghanistan and Pakistan represent "a war that is quickly morphing into something less immediately-related to 9/11." That's just how it is. But the country never made that decision--the country made the decision to go to war against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. That's why I think that this new AUMF shouldn't be something that gets tucked into a spending bill--it's the kind of thing that the American people need to consider carefully. I suspect public opinion is probably on McKeon's side here, but at the very least, a separate vote on a new AUMF would have the advantage of sanctioning this larger conflict in a more public and accountable manner. More importantly, we could be having a conversation of what the end of the "war on terror" is supposed to look like.
If only the real debate were this good. Sigh.