The new draft AUMF promotes greater transparency and congressional involvement in deciding on the scope of U.S. counterterrorism operations, but it primarily serves to give Congress political leverage. As a legal matter, it leaves the president firmly in control.
Latest in War Powers
What debates about the meaning and efficacy of the U.N. Charter might tell us about international law—and constitutional law.
When the United States uses military force, especially under controversial circumstances, it should explain the legal basis for its actions.
There is no apparent domestic or international legal authority for the airstrikes conducted in Syria on April 14.
Below is a transcript of President Trump's remarks announcing airstrikes in Syria this evening. The government has also released an assessment of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also included below.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release April 13, 2018
Airstrikes raise serious legal and practical concerns.
The Trump administration has fallen short in meeting Congress’s demands for transparency on the legal basis for its actions in Syria, despite relevant legal requirements. It’s time for Congress to step up its oversight efforts.
The New York Times has published the White House's unclassified "Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States' Use of Military Force for National Security Operations." As Scott Anderson and Alison Murphy noted earlier today on Lawfare, the report notes a previously undisclosed military encounter between U.S. forces and forces associated with the Islamic State on Dec. 6 of last year.
The Trump administration has given Congress—and only Congress—an important new war powers report. We tracked it down in hard copy to have a look.
A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a joint resolution to compel the Trump administration to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen. This deep dive explains how the resolution's procedural context within Congress should shape understanding of the proposal.