What others say: New war authorization will keep the U.S. perpertually fighting

Congress has long abdicated its constitutional authority with respect to the nation’s numerous and ever-expanding wars abroad.

It was welcome news, then, to learn that Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, have put forward a new Authorization for Use of Military Force for consideration. At the very least, the offering of a new AUMF gives Congress a long-overdue opportunity to talk about America’s wars and perhaps even contemplate whether the United States should continue any of those efforts.

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Congress rushed to pass an AUMF that granted the executive branch the authority to order military action against those responsible for the attacks. Unfortunately, in the time since then, the 2001 AUMF has been used to justify American military action in countries and against groups that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, with little congressional oversight.

The AUMF proposed by Corker and Kaine, while appreciated as a starting point for conversation, regrettably does nothing to rein in America’s perpetual state of war. The AUMF authorizes military action against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the Islamic State, as well as at least five “existing associated forces”: al-Shabab in Somalia, the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda in Syria, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (in northern Africa).

The AUMF also permits the president to add new groups to the AUMF, as well as new countries where operations can be conducted, beyond Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, though it does provide for congressional review for doing so.

While there are elements of the new AUMF that might be an improvement over the 2001 AUMF, in totality, what the proposed new AUMF does is keep the United States engaged in wars in at least half a dozen countries against an ever-expanding number of groups, with no sunset provisions or geographical limitations.

In other words, it merely continues, with congressional blessings, a state of war without clear goals or limits. After 17 years of perpetual war, it is time we reconsider our wasteful interventionism abroad and bring the troops home.

— The Orange County Register, April 24, 2018

More in Opinion

Jodi Taylor is the board chair for Alaska Policy Forum. (Courtesy photo)
Private school, state reimbursement: family choice

By Jodi Taylor Alaskan parents have a legitimate right to choose the… Continue reading

t
Opinion: It’s time for bold action to protect our fisheries

Our fisheries feed the world and sustain our unique cultures and communities.

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Hard to fill positions?

Paying poverty wages to support staff, secretaries and custodians is unacceptable yet routine behavior by our district

A copy of the State of Alaska Official Ballot for the June 11, 2022, Special Primary Election is photographed on May 2, 2022. (Peninsula Clarion staff)
Choosing a candidate – Who will best represent us in D.C.?

Voters are encouraged to do homework before casting a vote

Tourists watch as one of two cubs belonging to an 18-year-old sow black bear crosses the path between groups of tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Tourists have pushed us to critical mass in parts of Juneau

I don’t go to the glacier in the summer now to hike or watch bears.

Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left, and Robert Myers, R-North Pole, read through one of 41 amendments submitted to the state’s omnibus budget bill being debate on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Monday, May 9, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: The Alaska Senate’s foolish gamble

“All these conservative people just spent all our money”

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. (logo provided)
Point of View: A few ideas for Mental Health Awareness Month

What are some things you can practice this month and subsequently apply to your life?

Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Opinion: Alaskans should prepare for wildfire season

Several past large fire seasons followed snowy winters or unusually rainy springs

Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: 1 candidate dined, 47 to go

By Alex Koplin Last month, I wrote a satirical piece for the… Continue reading

The logo of the Homer Trails Alliance.
Point of View: Connecting our community through trails

Homer is booming with housing development and the viability of long-standing trails is threatened