This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.
Nearly 20 years after 9/11, four different U.S. presidents have used the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to justify U.S. military action across the globe, without effective Congressional review. The vastly overmilitarized approach to counterterrorism that the 2001 AUMF has helped create has cost $6.4 trillion and now sees the United States conducting military operations in 80 countries around the world.
Support the introduction of legislation to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.
The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to decide when the United States goes to war and requires Congress to conduct appropriate oversight of U.S. wars. As a Quaker organization, we oppose all war. As a matter of public policy, we believe Congress at a minimum should debate and vote every time the president commits out military to lethal action. Congress should also regularly evaluate the various impacts of these military actions, including whether they are achieving their intended effect of keeping Americans safe.
After nearly two decades of expanding wars, we urge Congress to reassert its authority over decisions of war and peace by repealing the 2001 AUMF.
The 2001 AUMF should be repealed because it lacks the following critical elements:
- Sunset clause: Every AUMF should include a date at which it expires that is three years or less.
- Clear military targets: Congress must name each specific group or country that the U.S. is waging war against to avoid presidents expanding war without Congressional approval.
- Geographic restrictions: This restriction would limit mission creep and protect Congress’ oversight and power to decide where the U.S. uses military force.
- Restrictions on the use of ground troops: Explicit Congressional approval should be required before committing our troops to any new ground war.