5:31 PM, Jan 21, 2015 • By ADAM J. WHITE
In last night's State of the Union, President Obama reiterated his call upon Congress to pass a new "AUMF" -- or Authorization for Use of Military Force -- against ISIS, rather than continuing to wage war pursuant to the original 2001 AUMF against al Qaeda and its collaborators.
But despite the president's words, his actions make clear that he actually wants no such thing -- as Harvard Law's Jack Goldsmith observes at Brookings's widely read Lawfare blog:
At this point it seems pretty clear that the Obama administration is not serious about securing a new AUMF. It seeks to appear to want to put the fight against the Islamic State on a stronger legal footing. But its actions reveal that it doesn’t really want this (and that the President doesn’t mean what he often says about the importance to our democracy of having the contemporary Congress on board in this context). Really wanting to put the fight on a stronger legal footing requires taking a position on what is needed and why, and pushing hard for it. The administration has never shown any taste for working with Congress on AUMF-related issues, dating back to the 2009Archives speech (when the President pledged “work with Congress to develop an appropriate legal regime” for long-term detention, but never followed up), and the 2013 National Defense University speech (when the President pledged to “engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force” in efforts to “refine” its mandate, but never followed up). And it doesn’t show a taste for it now.
Part of this reticence flows from the administration’s well-known distaste for the politics of these issues. But part of it, I suspect, is that the President does not want his legacy associated with a new AUMF that extends the endless war against Islamist terrorists legally, conceptually, and geographically.
Read the whole thing, as well as Goldsmith's other writings (e.g., here and here) on the need for a new AUMF.
10:10 AM, Jan 7, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, when asked Tuesday about the number of Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS) fighters killed in ongoing coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria, gave a rather colorful response: "[W]e don't have the ability to -
7:08 AM, Dec 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The U.S. bombed three Islamic State controlled buildings in Syria, according to video recently released by U.S. Central Command. Here's the video, titled "Airstrike against three ISIL buildings, Dec. 21, near Aleppo, Syria":
"A video of an airstrike supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. The video depicts impacts occurring Dec. 21 against three ISIL buildings near Aleppo, Syria," says the video's description, as posted on YouTube.
In a recent op-ed, Rand Paul argues for President Obama's foreign policy.12:50 PM, Dec 20, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Senator Rand Paul has an op-ed in Time magazine making the case for normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba as Barack Obama has proposed. It’s a reasonable objective for U.S.
7:25 AM, Nov 19, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
An ex-Guantanamo detainee based in northern Pakistan is leading an effort to recruit jihadists for the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large portions of Iraq and Syria.
Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who was detained at Guantanamo for three years, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Dost’s oath of allegiance was issued on July 1, just two days after Baghdadi named himself “Caliph Ibrahim I” and declared that his Islamic State was now a “caliphate.”
3:48 PM, Nov 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House forwards this statement from the Pentagon press secretary on sending 1,500 more troops to Iraq:
The commander in chief has authorized Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to deploy to Iraq up to 1,500 additional U.S. personnel over the coming months, in a non-combat role, to expand our advise and assist mission and initiate a comprehensive training effort for Iraqi forces.
12:33 PM, Oct 31, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If one objective of the bombing campaign in the Mideast was to stop – or, at least, reduce – the flow of fresh recruits to ISIS, then it has failed. As Greg Miller of the Washington Post reports
7:23 AM, Oct 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
James Jeffrey, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, tells Frontline that "everyone" warned the Obama administration about ISIS--and that they did nothing.
Watch the clip here:
"The administration not only was warned by everybody back in January, it actually announced that it was going to intensify its support against ISIS with Iraqi armed forces, and it did almost nothing."
2:11 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By DAVID ADESNIK
Did Rand Paul just become a supporter of George W. Bush’s freedom agenda? “The world does not have an Islam problem,” Paul explained a few days ago. “The world has a dignity problem, with millions of men and women across the Middle East being treated as chattel by their own governments.” Such words clearly echo President Bush’s declaration that, “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe – because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty.” Few statements have provoked more ire from committed realists, which is what Rand Paul says he is.
7:24 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Rear Admiral John Kirby appeared at a joint press briefing with spokesperson Jen Psaki at the State Department Thursday and addressed the ongoing airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
4:32 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
There is a shortage of drones in the theater where the U.S. is engaged against ISIS. They are needed in another theater of operations, one where we do have troops engaged and are committed to getting them out.