1. Legislative Ask
  2. U.S. Wars & Militarism

No More Blank Check for War

Congress Must Decide When the U.S. Goes to War

Since 9/11, three different 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 effective Congressional review. At the end of 2018, according to public records, U.S. military personnel were deployed and equipped for combat in 18 different countries.

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. 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 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.

Please support Rep. Barbara Lee’s legislation to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (H.R. 1274).

Those two laws should be repealed because

  • No sunset clause: An end date of three years will facilitate oversight and prevent endless war.
  • No clear military targets: Congress must name each and every specific group or country that the U.S. is waging war against to avoid presidents continuing to expand endless wars.
  • No geographic restrictions: This would limit mission creep and protect Congress’ oversight and power to decide where the U.S. goes to war.
  • No restrictions on the use of ground troops: Explicit Congressional approval should be required before committing our troops to any new ground war.

FCNL Contact: Heather Brandon-Smith, Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Right: hbrandon-smith@fcnl.org