The Global War on Terrorism: Do We Need a New AUMF?

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After 9/11, Congress passed the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (“AUMF”), which gave the President the authority “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 2002, a separate AUMF was passed authorizing the Iraq War. Since then, no additional AUMFs have been authorized, but the Global War on Terrorism has been waged in nations, and against groups, that appear to be outside the scope of either AUMF. Multiple members of Congress have called for new legislation that will more accurately define the proper scope and authority of the President to wage war against international terrorist organizations. This panel from December 11, 2017 discusses the legal scope of existing AUMFs, and explores the policy decisions underlying whether (and how) to augment or replace the existing AUMFs.

William S. Castle, Acting General Counsel, Department of Defense (appointed August 2017)
Bruce Ackerman, Counsel in Smith v Trump (suit by military officer challenging the Commander-in-Chief’s power to fight ISIS using the current AUMFs; recently argued before the D.C. Circuit)
John B. Bellinger III, Former Senior Counsel to President George W. Bush and Legal Advisor to the National Security Council during 9/11

Karen Greenberg, Director, Center on National Security, Fordham University School of Law

Sponsoring Association Committee:
Military Affairs & Justice Committee, Erik L. Wilson, Chair

Co-Sponsoring Association Committees:
Council on International Affairs, Martin S. Flaherty, Chair
Task Force on National Security & the Rule of Law, Mark R. Shulman, Chair

Related Resources
If you are interested in this program, you may also be interested in these City Bar resources:

Letter to President Trump regarding Presidential Authority to Initiate War Against North Korea

Recommendations to the Trump Administration Regarding National Security Policies

Letter Regarding Lack of Clarity in U.S. Policies on Critical Counter-Terrorism and Use of Force Issues

President Trump’s Guantanamo: Views from the Legal Front (podcast)