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AUMFIraqIslamic StateSyriaWednesday, March 18, 2015

Policy Analyst Bill French’s Testimony on ISIL and the President’s AUMF

Statement by Bill French, NSN Policy Analyst Congressional Progressive Caucus Forum on ISIL and the President’s AUMF Proposal March 16, 2015 Distinguished members of Congress, I am honored to join you to discuss the president’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL. Over the next few minutes, I would like to outline how a number of key national security issues relate to considering the president’s proposed resolution and what kind of provisions it should – and should not – ultimately include as a result. In particular, I will focus on select aspects of how the U.S. military strategy against ISIL should inform congressional action on a potential AUMF. As I think all of us know, ISIL poses a very real national security… Read More ›

AUMFIslamic StateMonday, March 2, 2015

A Misguided Effort Against Islamic State | J. Dana Stuster

A Misguided Effort Against Islamic State By J. Dana Stuster, NSN Policy Analyst March 2, 2015 |  LA Times Since President Obama asked Congress in February for a new Authorization for Use of Military Force against Islamic State, the proposal has been under attack by hawkish members of Congress. “My goal is to do no harm to the war effort,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said recently. “The harm is to embrace a strategy with no chance of success.” He’s right — and that’s precisely why the use-of-force prescriptions Graham and others are advocating are so misguided. Congressional hawks are pushing for expansive executive war powers. Though they have not offered their own comprehensive strategy, interventionists such as Graham and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are calling… Read More ›

AUMFIslamic StateFriday, February 27, 2015

Why Limits in an ISIL AUMF are Necessary | Bill French

Why Limits in an ISIL AUMF are Necessary By Bill French, NSN Policy Analyst February 27, 2015 | The Hill This week Congress begins considering an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State. So far, the debate has focused on how specific a potential authorization should be. The administration has requested a modestly limited authorization and some in Congress want an even more tailored resolution. In response, conservative hawks in Congress are leading what amounts to a Blank Check Caucus that wants to grant this and future presidents broad war authority that is unspecific and unlimited so long as the Islamic State and vaguely related groups are the targets. But the Blank Check Caucus misunderstands the basic functions of war authorizations and fails to appreciate the challenges that non-state actors like the Islamic State pose to Congress’ constitutional role to declare war. By correcting these errors, it is evident that limits are necessary and appropriate in an Islamic State AUMF. The basic purpose… Read More ›

Islamic StateThursday, February 26, 2015

TIME’s Mark Thompson Quotes NSN Report on the Islamic State

U.S. Military Plan For Looming ISIS Offensive Takes Shape Mark Thompson, Pulitzer Prize-winner who has covered national security and the military since 1979, and for Time since 1994 February 26, 2015 Clearing is relatively easy, but clearing and holding Islamic State territory is the goal Every U.S. military official says degrading and defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria isn’t a job that can be done by the Pentagon alone. But it also cannot be done without the Pentagon. That’s the bind President Obama finds himself in as he seeks a way to cripple ISIS without putting U.S. combat boots on the ground inside Iraq and Syria (beyond the 3,100 now there to train Iraqi forces and protect the U.S. embassy and other… Read More ›

AUMFIslamic StateThursday, February 26, 2015

NSN Signs Coalition Letter Urging Congress to Rein in 2001 AUMF

Coalition Urges Congress To Rein In Sweeping 2001 War Authorization Jennifer Bendery February 26, 2015 | Huffington Post WASHINGTON — As Congress turns its attention to President Barack Obama’s request to use military force against the Islamic State, more than a dozen groups are urging lawmakers to rein in a sweeping 2001 war authorization that never expired and is being used to justify open-ended military operations. The American Civil Liberties Union, National Security Network and Constitution Project are among 16 groups that sent a letter to lawmakers on Tuesday demanding that they revise Obama’s war authorization request to explicitly state that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force does not apply to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL or ISIS.… Read More ›

AUMFIslamic StateWednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting to an Effective and Well-Defined AUMF for the Islamic State

Getting to an Effective and Well-Defined AUMF for the Islamic State February 25, 2015 This week, Congress is beginning the process of considering a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State. The authorization recently proposed by the White House has positive and negative aspects, as NSN has noted previously. But with additional analysis coming out about the Administration’s proposal and Secretary Kerry’s Senate testimony yesterday, the conversation is advancing and many details deserve closer consideration. First, the extent to which the proposed AUMF would authorize U.S. ground forces is still very unclear. Second, new troubling questions are being raised about the conditions in which the Administration thinks it would have the authority to strike Assad’s forces under a new… Read More ›

Friday, February 20, 2015

Washington Examinar Quotes Dana Stuster on the Countering Violent Extremism Summit

White House Extremism Summit More Symbolism Than Substance, Experts Say By Susan Crabtree February 20, 2015 | Washington Examiner President Obama’s closing remarks at the Countering Violent Extremism Summit Thursday perfectly captured his awkward balancing act when it comes to talking about Islamic terrorist groups and his policies aimed at stopping their deadly goals. While Obama studiously avoided words like “Islamic” and “Muslim,” he made no bones about the need to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, mentioning the terrorist group nine times. In the end, the summit was more symbolism than substance, say foreign policy experts across the political spectrum. “The Obama administration is demonstrating some much-needed international initiative by hosting this summit,” said John Dana Stuster, a policy analyst for the National… Read More ›

AUMFIslamic StateFriday, February 20, 2015

Talking through Obama’s AUMF Proposal | Tobias Gibson

Talking through Obama’s AUMF Proposal Tobias T. Gibson February 20, 2015 | The Hill Last week, the Obama administration sent Congress a draft proposal for a new Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) specifically targeted at the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Predictably, the reaction was swift. Equally predictably, the feelings toward the proposal were largely divided along partisan lines. There is one commonality, however — feelings that the draft AUMF is not perfect. Responses were swift by those outside of government, as well. My colleagues at National Security Network (NSN) offered ”the good, the bad and the ugly” of the proposed AUMF. Among the “good,” seconding Pelosi, is the end to the 2002 Iraq AUMF. There are more two contested “good” outcomes stemming from the… Read More ›

AUMFCubaIranIslamic StateRussiaUkraineFriday, February 20, 2015

Jeb Bush Lays out Limited Foreign Policy Vision

Jeb Bush Lays out Limited Foreign Policy Vision February 20, 2015 On Wednesday, Jeb Bush laid out the foreign policy framework for his anticipated presidential campaign in a speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Bush’s remarks covered a broad range of subjects, and while he identified many of the pressing international challenges facing the United States, his remarks lacked clarity or solutions. As the presidential race moves forward, the national security debate will require more depth of understanding on issues including resolving Iran’s nuclear program, addressing the threat from the Islamic State, the fighting in Ukraine, normalizing relations with Cuba, and ongoing Pentagon spending debates, and we will look for candidates that back up emerging positions with effective policies. Bush doesn’t seem to… Read More ›

AUMFIslamic StateWednesday, February 18, 2015

Politico Pro Features NSN Report on U.S. Options to Combat the Islamic State

NSN report details new strategy to fight ISIL Philip Ewing February 18, 2015 | Politico Pro (subscription based) The Obama administration should scale back its ambitions to train Syrian fighters to take on the Islamic State, a new report urges, and instead focus on containing the terrorists. The left-leaning National Security Network says President Barack Obama’s strategy has shown it can “halt and degrade” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but “is unlikely to achieve its stated goal of defeating the organization.” “For defeat of the Islamic State to be realistically achievable, credible partner ground forces must exist that can retake significant territory and govern the reclaimed areas,” says the report, by researchers Dana Stuster and Bill French. “At present, these conditions do not exist,… Read More ›

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