Military Capabilities

Mattis supports current war authorisations, but Senate panel eyes new legislation

31 October 2017

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee appears poised to draft new legislation to legally authorise US military abroad, which to date have relied upon 16-year-old authorisations passed after the 11 September 2001 terror attacks.

The 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) are the legal authority that underpins most ongoing US military campaigns, notably those in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Africa, and elsewhere.

Momentum has recently built towards replacing those authorisations. Many in Congress are beginning to fear those AUMFs mean the legislative branch has little input (aside from funding) in how the country uses its military.

"Obviously, the next logical step is for us to mark up an AUMF," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said during a 30 October hearing on the authorisations.

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