Latest in AUMF

Annals of the Trump Administration

Annals of the Trump Administration #7 (Prequel Edition): Shaping the War Obama Will Leave to Trump

With less than two months to go before it hands over power to the Trump administration, the Obama administration is continuing to fine-tune the legal, policy, and institutional architectures that guide its approach to the ongoing conflict with al Qaeda.  Under that heading, I want to flag some important recent developments.

1. AUMF expansion: al Shabaab is now a full-fledged "associated force" 

War Powers

The ISIS Lawsuit and the Perverse Effects of National Security Litigation

These kinds of advocacy lawsuits against the President in the national security arena often have perverse effects on the resulting law. The intent is generally to force constraints onto the executive branch, but the further along this lawsuit gets, the greater the risk it will result in less, rather than more, accountability and constraint on the Executive’s power.

War Powers

Do the Strikes on al Shabaab Stretch the AUMF or The Unit Self-defense Doctrine?

Charlie Savage’s piece on the legal basis for the March 5 U.S. strike against an al Shabaab training camp, which allegedly killed 150 fighters, raises the intriguing question of whether the AUMF has been stretched yet again, this time to justify U.S. operations against al Shabaab as a whole. 

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