The content below comes from the newsletter This Week in War Powers News, provided by the Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy.
Biden Must End the Forever Wars
Eight months into his presidency, Joe Biden will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. While he shouldn’t wait until the literal anniversary to get started, 2021 marks an ideal opportunity to break decisively with what have come to be known as the forever wars—the open-ended US military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and many other countries across the Muslim world. A generation of Americans with no memory of the 9/11 attacks is currently deployed in an increasingly aimless effort to avenge them that has now spanned three drastically different presidencies. Polling in recent years has shown consistent opposition to these wars, including from veterans, who have borne the brunt of policy-makers’ refusal to abandon a failed counterterrorism strategy. READ MORE
Session 1 of Congressional Study Group: Presidential War Powers Reports
On Feb. 28, 2020, the Congressional Study Group on Foreign Relations and National Security convened in person in the U.S. Capitol building to discuss the president’s war powers under Article II of the Constitution. As underscored by the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, the executive branch maintains that the president has broad authority to use military force overseas without congressional authorization. But what is the actual scope of this authority? And what can Congress do if it is used irresponsibly? READ MORE
On 20th Anniversary of the “War on Terror,” Is There Any End in Sight?
This is a different kind of war, which we will wage aggressively and methodically to disrupt and destroy terrorist activity,” President George W. Bush announced a little more than two weeks after the 9/11 attacks. “Some victories will be won outside of public view, in tragedies avoided and threats eliminated. Other victories will be clear to all.”
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the war on terror, including America’s undeclared conflict in Afghanistan. After that war’s original moniker, Operation Infinite Justice, was nixed for offending Muslim sensibilities, the Pentagon rebranded it Operation Enduring Freedom. Despite neither a clear victory, nor the slightest evidence that enduring freedom had ever been imposed on that country, “U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan ended,” according to the Defense Department, in 2014. In reality, that combat simply continued under a new name, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, and grinds on to this very day. READ MORE