On Oct. 30, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis on the Trump administration’s views regarding the need for a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF).
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Want a thorough backgrounder on the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force? This is the episode for you. (This also is the episode for you if what you want, instead, is an hour of legal blather followed by five minutes of speculation about Season 7 of Game of Thrones). The “AUMF” is the key statute on which the government relies for its post-9/11 uses of force relating to terrorism, and it has been the source of controversy and debate for the better part of the past sixteen years.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing today on a new Authorization to Use Military Force Against terrorist groups. Kathleen Hicks, former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and I were the witnesses. My written statement is here. Kathleen Hicks’ written statement is here.
I closed my opening statement as follows:
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) have introduced a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force against ISIS, al Qaeda, and the Taliban.
As several colleagues noted last week, Representative Adam Schiff has revived his effort to get Congress to replace the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs with a new “Consolidated AUMF” that would explicitly name the Islamic State (he had a similar bill in the last Congress, which Jack endorsed here). What follows below is a section-by-section analysis of H.J. Res.
Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) along with four other Republican co-sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Daniel Coats (R-IN), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), introduced a broad Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The war with the Islamic State turns one today, and yet we still have no authorization for the use of force against the group.