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... supports Professor William Snyder's sections of National Security Law, Counterterrorism Law, and Prosecuting Terrorists at the Syracuse University College of Law.

More Questions on Scope of the AUMF

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) has served as the legal foundation for many of the United States’ counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda for at least a decade. Similarly, the AUMF provides some legal basis under which the U.S. may carry out targeted strikes.  But the scope of the United States’ authority to act in this regard is again the subject of controversy.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post published an article emphasizing the concerns of U.S. officials and administrative attorneys that the law is being “stretched to its legal breaking point.”

As the article explains, a debate has ensued over whether the law can be “stretched” to cover “associates of associated forces” in light of federal court determinations that the law covers at least “associated forces” of al Qaeda. The Washington Post continues:

The debate has been driven by the emergence of groups in North Africa and the Middle East that may embrace aspects of al-Qaeda’s agenda but have no meaningful ties to its crumbling leadership base in Pakistan. Among them are the al-Nusra Front in Syria and Ansar al-Sharia, which was linked to the September attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya. They could be exposed to drone strikes and kill-or-capture missions involving U.S. troops.

Officials have entertained the option of obtaining an updated congressional authorization or operating through constitutional executive powers, however, these have been deemed “unappealing alternatives.”

 

You can read the full Post article, here.

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