The Center has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible. There is little that can be accomplished there that has not been achieved in the past 14 years.
Regarding the current use of military force against the Islamic State of the Levant and Syria, members of Congress should to fulfill their constitutional duty to debate and vote on whether to authorize such force and ought to support a repeal of both the 2001, under which our military engagement against ISIL is currently conducted, and the 2002 Authorization of Military Force as proposed by President Obama.
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation applauds the president’s initiative to repeal the 2002 AUMF and replace it with a more limited and circumscribed AUMF. In fact, this may be the first time in history that a president has proposed that Congress actually narrow the administration’s authorization to use of military force.
However, we encourage the president to work with Congress to flesh out and make more concrete certain specifics of the proposed limitations. For example, while the three-year sunset clause is clear and specific, the language prohibiting “enduring offensive ground combat operations” is not. The proposal would also be strengthened by including language describing an achievable goal, the geographic area of operation, reporting on military and civilian casualties, and creating mechanisms for oversight by civilian leadership.
Finally, we encourage the president to act consistent with the U.N. Security Council Resolutions and international law, stem the flows of money, arms, and foreign fighters that are fueling the conflict, and ensure U.S. law enforcement has the non-militarized resources and oversight to prevent domestic terrorism and homegrown jihadists.
For more on the Middle East, please visit our Iran diplomacy issue page.
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