Recapturing Congress’s War Powers: Repeal, Don’t Replace, the 2001 AUMF

From today’s Cato Institute event, featuring Gene Healy, Vice President, Cato Institute; and John Glaser, Director of Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute; moderated by Jeff Vanderslice, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.

Healy and Glaser discuss the practical consequences of Congress’s abdication of its war-making powers and how Congress can reassert its rightful place as the branch of government responsible for determining the time, place, and targets of war.

Congress’s most solemn constitutional duty is to determine whether, where, and against whom the United States will engage in war. Yet for far too long, legislators have ceded that responsibility to the executive branch, allowing multiple administrations to use the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) as a blank check to wage war whenever and wherever the president decides.

As Congress determines how to respond to growing demands for a new AUMF, it should beware of proposals that would institutionalize mission creep by surrendering more authority to the executive branch. Instead, Congress should repeal — and not replace — the 2001 AUMF.

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