Demand a New AUMF After the Botched Niger Operation
Immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), granting the President the authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against those who “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the attacks of September 11th “in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States." Since 2001, the AUMF has been used as the legal basis for military action against a broad range of groups, extending far beyond those implicated in the September 11th attacks. According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 AUMF has been used in at least 14 different countries to justify military intervention. For 16 years, the executive branch has used this overly broad and outdated authorization to wage unending war against terrorism with little or no appropriate congressional oversight. The recent death of four US Special Forces servicemen in a little known military operation in Niger highlights the need for a new AUMF. Because Congress has been largely left in the dark about the botched operation, military hawks such as John McCain (R-AZ) are forced to threaten subpoenas of Trump aides. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, such as Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Bob Corker (R-TN), are arguing the Niger incident is a clear indication we need to reassert oversight over Trump’s broad war-making authority. Given Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) recent statements "You're going to see more actions in Africa, not less,” Congress needs to act immediately to place oversight on the administration’s ability to wage war. "