NSN Statement: Obama’s ISIL AUMF

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NSN Statement: Obama’s ISIL AUMF


February 11, 2015

Washington, D.C. – John Bradshaw, Executive Director of the National Security Network, a progressive and pragmatic messaging and policy group focused on foreign policy and national security, offered the following statement in response to President Obama’s submission of an Authorization to Use Military Force against the Islamic State:

The AUMF proposed by the Administration contains some important limitations, including a sunset clause, that reflect lessons learned from the blank check AUMF passed by Congress in 2001. Attempts to effectively define the forces the U.S. will be fighting against and to limit the role of combat ground forces are welcome although both are problematic and can be improved. The failure to define the role of the 2001 AUMF and the lack of geographic limits are serious shortcomings of the proposal. Overall, the proposal reflects the President’s broad goals of an effective yet limited authorization, as tempered by the political realities of the current Congress.

Last summer, the National Security Network published two policy papers which on the AUMF: “Ending the Endless War,” which recommended a cap on countries and groups targeted with an eye towards eventual repeal of the 2001 AUMF, and “Navigating an AUMF for the Islamic State: Towards a High-Standard Authorization, which promoted key limitations on an Islamic State specific AUMF, including geographic location, outlining objectives to be met, a sunset clause, a prohibition on ground troop deployment and the inclusion of robust reporting requirements and applying human rights laws to U.S. assistance to foreign partners.

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