20 Years On: Why Congress Should Repeal the Post 9/11 AUMFs

(Source) I. Introduction Three days after the September 11 attacks, the 107th Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (“2001 AUMF”). Section 2 of the 2001 AUMF authorized the President of the United States (“President”) 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 Stated by such nations, organizations or persons.” This sixty-word broad authorization served as a blank check for the U.S. to conduct military operations in Afghanistan. The counterpart of the 2001 AUMF was the 2002 AUMF, which authorized military force against Iraq. While the initial focus of the 2002 AUMF was to address the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime, the U.S. used it for the “dual purposes of helping to establish a stable, democratic Iraq and of addressing terrorist threats emanating from Iraq.” For example, President Obama used the 2002 AUMF to conduct the counter-ISIS military campaign in 2014. Similarly, in January 2020, after invoking both the Article II powers and the 2002 AUMF, President [read more]