1. Background
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism

End the Blank Check for War

By Heather Brandon-Smith , Shoshana Abrams


Since 9/11, three U.S. presidents have used the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 Iraq AUMF to justify U.S. military action across the globe without congressional approval or effective oversight.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the 2001 AUMF has been used to justify 41 operations in 19 countries. These wars have cost more than $5.9 trillion and resulted in the deaths of approximately 500,000 people, including approximately 250,000 civilians and 15,000 U.S. military personnel and contractors.

For more details on how the AUMF has been stretched far beyond congressional intent, including answers to some frequently asked questions, check out this backgrounder.

Take Action

No More Endless War

Urge Congress to repeal the 2001 AUMF

Act Now

The Constitution states that Congress has the sole authority to decide when the United States goes to war and requires Congress to conduct appropriate oversight of U.S. wars.

Congress at a minimum should debate and vote every time the president commits our military to lethal action and should regularly evaluate the impact of those wars.

As a first step toward Congress reasserting its authority over decisions of war and peace, we urge Congress to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.

1. Lobby your members of Congress.

See our legislative ask for AUMF Repeal.

2. Write a Letter to the Editor.

Write a letter to your local paper. Need inspiration? See where FCNL Advocacy Team members are getting published.

3. Learn about Advocacy Teams.

Advocacy Teams are Quakers and friends from across the country who use their power as constituents to push Congress to repeal the AUMF.

4. What We're Reading and Writing

What We're Reading on AUMF Repeal 

We’ve assembled articles to offer you important context and perspectives on how the AUMF has been stretched far beyond congressional intent, and ongoing efforts to end endless war.

What We're Writing on AUMF Repeal 

We've written extensively on the need to repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. These collected resources reflect our stance on endless war, and our efforts to end it.

Heather Brandon-Smith

  • Legislative Director, Militarism and Human Rights

Heather Brandon-Smith is FCNL’s Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights. Heather leads FCNL’s work to repeal the 2001 authorization for war, promote respect for human rights and international law, and reduce U.S. armed interventions around the world.

Shoshana Abrams

  • Advocacy Teams Manager

As FCNL’s Advocacy Teams Manager, Shoshana Abrams is responsible for deepening and expanding our Advocacy Teams program, a network of hundreds of Quakers and friends lobbying to build congressional champions for peace and justice.