As federal court and national security experts are noting, on Oct. 27, the D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument in Smith v. Trump (formerly Smith v. Obama). The case challenges the propriety of invoking the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) to justify the war against the Islamic State (Operation Inherent Resolve).
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Livestream: House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing on Authorization for the Use of Military Force and Current Terrorist Threats
This morning at 10am, the House Foreign Affairs Committee is holding a hearing on "Authorization for the Use of Military Force and Current Terrorist Threats." Witnesses include former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Richard Gross (Retired), and former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen. A livestream of the hearing is available below.
A pretty remarkable development in today's House Appropriations markup on the Defense Appopriations bill. For many years, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) has been putting forward amendments intended to repeal or sunset the 2001 AUMF. They normally do not go anywhere. This morning she moved one that would terminate the 2001 AUMF in 240 days, and lo-and-behold the majority went along with it. It passed with only Kay Granger (R-TX) opposing.
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:
It is past time for Congress to update the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), explicitly authorizing the armed conflict with the Islamic State while also adding further important reforms to that foundational instrument. The bill that Senators Flake (R-AZ) and Kaine (D-VA) introduced this week would serve that purpose well.
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.
Yesterday afternoon, President Barack Obama gave a final planned national security address at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, one day after the White House released a comprehensive report on the legal and policy frameworks guiding the use of military force. (Lawfare's coverage of the report is available here and here.)
As Ben noted, earlier today the White House released a report on the legal and policy frameworks guiding the use of military force and related nation security operations. The document, as Ben puts it “the closest thing the administration has ever produced” to a comprehensive account of its legal views. Below is a detailed summary of the report.
Part One: Key Frameworks Related to the Use of Military Force Overseas
The White House Releases a "Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks" on American Uses of Military Force
Last year, Kenneth Anderson and I published a book entitled, Speaking the Law: The Obama Administration's Addresses on National Security Law, which is a detailed analysis of the Obama Administration's national security law views, as seen through the lens of a body of speeches given by senior administration officials.