were initially approved for operations against al-Qaida and Taliban affiliates, and in Iraq.
Initially aimed at the perpetrators of the attacks and those who "harbored" or "aided" them, the AUMF
by 2016 had been stretched by creative lawyering far enough to cover everything from boots on the ground in Tongo Tongo to drones over Timbuktu.
(30) In an address to the nation, President Obama stated that the government had sufficient authority to prosecute the war against ISIS under both his Article II authority and the 2001 AUMF
. (31) American troops were engaged in offensive actions against ISIS when allied Iraqi troops captured the Mosul Dam in August 2014 with U.S.
Many have criticized this expansive interpretation of the AUMF
. Scholars have pointed out that this type of broad interpretation would place almost no limitations on the president's authority to wage the so-called war on terror (O'Connell 2012).
Yet this new AUMF
preserves, rather than challenges, executive dominance in fighting terrorism.
Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump have relied on the authorities, along with a subsequent AUMF
in 2002, as the basis for operations against armed Islamist groups.
However, a congressional review of the AUMF
would take place every four years, which would allow lawmakers to restrict or expand any existing mission.
Jeff Flake, Republican-Arizona, a co-sponsor of the new proposal, pointed out that only 22 senators and fewer than 150 House members who voted to approve the 2001 AUMF
are still in Congress today.
President Obama's decision to engage IS under the purview of these AUMFs
--which came on the heels of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's June 2014 announcement of the so-called Islamic caliphate--reenergized the debate among Congress, White House, and public regarding the need for a new AUMF
to more appropriately and legally authorize U.S.
Under three presidents now, the Pentagon has relied on one piece of legislation for all this war-making: the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, or AUMF
, which Congress approved in the wake of the Sept.
By severing links with Al-Qaeda, Nusra (now as Fatah al-Sham), could now fall beyond the scope of the 2001 AUMF
Enacted days after the 9/11 attacks, the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF
) authorized the President "to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons" responsible for the attacks as well as those who harbored attackers.