Biden officials are open to toughening the law authorizing war on terrorist groups


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The Biden White House has not expressed any dissatisfaction with the Pentagon’s use of the “self-defense” exception to justify the practice of providing essentially close air support to partner forces that go on missions and then get into trouble, even if no Americans are present. And in danger.

The domestic legal basis for airstrikes in both Somalia and Afghanistan is the 2001 Act of War, otherwise known as the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF. in 2016 Youth added to the war By considering it a force linked to the base.

At Tuesday’s opening hearing, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., noted that he voted for the 2001 law after the September 11 attacks, and said, “We could never have imagined it being used as a justification” for strikes. air force in Somalia or against groups that did not exist at that time.”

The 2001 Act of War is loosely worded and does not contain geographic boundaries. But efforts in Congress to modernize it have faltered for years amid sharp disagreements over how to replace it. Some lawmakers were unwilling to vote on anything that would reduce the government’s power to fight Islamist groups, while others were unwilling to vote for anything that could be construed as entrenching “eternal war” or could serve as a blank check.

Against this backdrop, Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, has expressed doubts that any new anti-terror law will pass Congress. Several Republican senators expressed skepticism about repealing the 2002 Iraq War, noting that it might signal weakness in the Middle East, including Iran.

While the 1991 Act of War is long considered obsolete, the executive branch has in recent years cited the 2002 Act of War as an allegedly consistent congressional mandate to conduct very different combat operations in the Middle East than fighting Saddam: the Obama administration He was martyred in 2014. When I started bombing ISIS and the Trump administration He was martyred in 2020 When I killed the most important Iranian general, Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Both claims are disputed. But Caroline Krass, the Pentagon’s general counsel, noted that in both cases, the executive branch portrayed the 2002 law as merely providing additional — and not necessary — domestic legal authorization for those military operations.


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