Washington, D.C. — Congress needs to start conducting real oversight over America’s wars before it considers passing a new Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF), according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress.
For the 17 years the AUMF has been in place, Congress has failed to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to decide whether the U.S. should go to war in new countries or against new groups, the analysis says. But the issue now confronting Congress is not whether to authorize a new war. Rather, Congress must decide whether the current wars should continue, and if so, how?
To prevent the cycle of endless war, Congress must examine the costs, benefits, and alternatives to the multiple wars now being fought. Only after Congress concludes that task will the question of whether new legal authorities are needed for these existing wars be an appropriate one for consideration.
- Put on hold consideration of a new or revised 2001 AUMF
- Request that the Trump administration provide a complete list of countries in which the United States is at war relying upon the 2001 AUMF; organizations the United States is fighting in those countries; and the countries where the United States is providing partner assistance against terrorist groups, even if U.S. troops are not participating in hostilities
- Hold robust hearings into these ongoing conflicts in the mold of the Fulbright Hearings into the Vietnam War
- Use all available means to obtain critical information about the state of the wars, including enforcement of current reporting requirements on the executive branch
- Examine each conflict separately—in a country-by-country, conflict-by-conflict manner—to ensure that each conflict gets individualized congressional oversight and that there is an individualized decision about how to move forward in each case
Read the analysis: “Preventing Endless War Requires Real Congressional Oversight—Not New War Authority” by Ken Gude and Kate Martin.
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