Congress Looks to Revise, Expand President’s War Powers
by Jack Kenny
Tuesday, 04 June 2013
President Obama has pledged he will not sign any law to expand the president’s war-making authority under the joint resolution known as the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed by both houses of Congress three days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. What’s more, the president said in the major foreign policy address he delivered at National Defense University nearly two weeks ago that he looked forward to “engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate.” Yet in rejecting the concept of a “boundless ‘global war on terror,’” Obama promised a continued “series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.” These efforts will continue in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and in places such as Yemen, Somali, and North Africa, he said.
The question he did not acknowledge, not to mention answer, is where does the president find the legal basis for wielding that military force in all those far-off places if the congressional authority for using it has been repealed?
The AUMF says:
The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.