Eighteen years ago this week, the US Congress passed a resolution giving the American president what some are now calling ‘a blank cheque’ to wage war. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, empowered the President to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and those who harbored them. Yet, those 60 words have been used by three presidents to justify seemingly endless wars around the world. All without debate by Congress, the legislative branch that was granted the power to declare war by the US Constitution. Will Congress take back its war authority — or will it stand by as the bombs continue to drop?
Carter Ham, Commander of AFRICOM (2011-2013)
Stephen Miles, Executive Director of Win Without War
Michael O’Hanlon, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at The Brookings Institution.