The time draws closer for the Congress to take up the issue of military funding….that is cash that we will need to funding all the wars we are now fighting and the ones on the horizon awaiting approval to be fought.
It appears that there are a few in Congress that want the AUMF to be addressed before any funding is approved….
Senate officials are hoping to get to a final vote on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a military spending bill in excess of $700 billion. Getting to that vote, however, means dealing with all the military and war-related amendments in the bill.
Senate leaders appear to have decided that the easiest way to get around this is to severely curtail debate on certain particularly controversial issues, with an 89-3 vote today agreeing to limit procedural debates on the matter.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is trying to manage the debate, which is to say, dramatically curtail the debate. There are still major issues to be settled, however, with Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) both pushing major debates, on war authorization and transgender soldiers, respectively.
Sen. Paul intends to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The amendment is seen as politically awkward for some hawks, who argue that they want to create a new AUMF that explicitly covers current wars, but who are reluctant to see any limitations placed on the way America’s wars are waged.
That’s the 2001 AUMF problem all over. Though on paper it was intended to only cover 9/11 and the Afghan War, the authorization has been used by all presidents since as carte blanche to wage any war, anywhere on earth, in which the term terrorism can remotely be applied.
There is no secret if you are a regular here on IST that I am a definite antiwar person…..while I do not agree with muich the Sen. Paul offers up as policy I do appreciate his stand in the AUMF……
As Congress takes up the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.
Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.
Our military trains our soldiers to be focused and disciplined, yet the politicians who send them to fight have for years ignored those traits when developing our foreign policy.
Personally, I think any new conflict we must fight must be authorized by Congress….there should be NO blanket authorization.
Update: After writing this draft news came down about the defeat of this proposal….
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had to push heavily and very publicly against the Senate leadership to get even the limited debate that ultimately occurred on his amendment, aiming to revoke the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF). The vote did not occur. In the middle of the debate Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) moved to table (kill) the amendment, forcing an immediate vote. The Senate then voted to kill Paul’s amendment, by a vote of 61-36.
The post-9/11 AUMF has been interpreted broadly by US presidents as allowing unlimited war-making powers against anything even loosely described as “terror.” Sen. Paul argued that the AUMF was wrongly been used to authorize seven distinct wars, and that repealing it would force Congress to debate specific authorizations for specific wars as an alternative.
While he’d hoped this would bring in support not only from opponents of the war, but from hawks eager to get their votes on the record to authorize these many, effectively unauthorized wars, little support ultimately materialized. In addition to Sen. Paul, speaking in favor during the debate were Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Dick Durban (D-IL).
While the failure of the amendment doesn’t preclude future efforts at passing new AUMFs to cover America’s many wars, it makes such debate a less pressing matter. Talk of an AUMF for the ISIS wars, put off since the 2014 mid-term elections on various reasons, can be expected to remain just talk, and no real advance on the effort is likely.
This seems to get a little more popular every time they try to bring it up for a vote……hopefully the Congress will come to its senses eventually.