AUMF

Luke Sharrett / Ben Balter (background)

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, Congress voted to authorize military force against against those who had “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks” or who "harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States. . . ." More than a decade later, the United States continues to conduct military operations against Al Qaeda and affiliated groups—including, somewhat surprisingly, against the Islamic State—pursuant to this 2001 authorization. In the spring of 2015, despite claiming that a new AUMF for airstrikes and limited operations in Syria and Iraq was not legally required, the Obama Administration presented draft language to Congress for a new AUMF. Riven by disagreements over details, Congress has thus far refused to support the President’s proposal.

 

Latest in AUMF

War Powers

Remembering Eisenhower’s Formosa AUMF

On this date in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a congressional joint resolution authorizing military force to protect Formosa, as Taiwan was then called by the U.S. government, and surrounding islands. It’s one of the most interesting force authorizations in American history: It reflected Eisenhower’s complicated ambivalence toward constitutional powers, it was open-ended, it contemplated the possible use of nuclear weapons, and it was never actually invoked.

targeted killing

Judicial Review of Decisions to Kill American Citizens Under the AUMF: The Most Important Case You Missed Last Week

Should courts review the decision-making process when the U.S. government determines to target an American citizen as part of the armed conflict authorized by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force? Courts have refused to allow such cases in the past. On June 13, however, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave an emphatic yes to the question, in a ruling that deserves much more attention than it has received thus far.

AUMF

Congress Should Oversee America’s Wars, Not Just Authorize Them

Nearly 17 years after the 9/11 attacks, a bipartisan coalition of senators has put forward legislation that promises to overhaul the legal framework for America’s worldwide campaign against terrorism. Proponents of this measure argue the existing authorization for military force—an AUMF in wonk-speak—passed back in September 2001 has become woefully outdated. The failure to modernize it, supporters say, represents a dereliction of duty by Congress.

AUMF: Legislative Reaffirmation

Would the Corker-Kaine AUMF Authorize Military Strikes in Iran? A Response to Bobby Chesney

In a Lawfare post on April 25, Bobby Chesney criticizes a New York Times editorial that opined that the Corker-Kaine AUMF could be used to attack Iran or North Korea. Because this part of the editorial linked to my op-ed in Defense One, Chesney focuses on my analysis.

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