By Jonathan Panton, 2023-2024 NSLS Vice President
The 2001 Authorized Use of Military Force (“2001 AUMF”) is a critical tool used by the President to cripple terrorist groups across different countries. The President’s use of force is collectively referred to as the War on Terror. The 2001 AUMF has been used to conduct military operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces. Many critics argue that the 2001 AUMF should be repealed because it was enacted over twenty years ago, grants overly expansive war powers to the President, and that associated forces include groups that did not exist during the September 11th attacks. The present work contends that the 2001 AUMF should continue to exist and act as legal justification for conducting the War on Terror because the President is acting with Congressional support and broad war powers are necessary for the President to conduct a non-international armed conflict across different countries. However, Congress should also obtain a new AUMF to legally justify using force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (“ISIL”) since ISIL does not fall within the scope of the 2001 AUMF.