Review Congressional Authorizations for the Use of Military Force, Hearing Before the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, First Session, June 20, 2017   [open pdf - 533KB]

This testimony compilation is from the June 20, 2017 hearing, "Reviewing Congressional Authorizations for the Use of Military Force," before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From the witness testimony of Kathleen Hicks: "The United States faces an array of threats from violent extremist groups that necessitate counterterrorism operations in disparate parts of the world. Current U.S. counterterrorism activities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere generally operate under provisions of the 2001 AUMF [authorization for the use of military force], which was intended to sanction force against the individuals, groups, and states involved in the planning and execution of the September 11 attacks. To create a legal justification for U.S. military action taken against terrorist groups that have emerged since 9/11, notably including the Islamic State and Al Shabab, the executive branch has relied on an ever-expanding interpretation of the category of al-Qaeda "associated forces" provided for under the 2001 AUMF. Relying on a 16-year old authorization focused on countering 'core' al-Qaeda for current or potential operations against the Islamic State and other emergent terrorist threats strains credulity. It jeopardizes our nation's principled belief in the rule of law and thereby risks the legitimacy of the institutions designed to create, carry out, and enforce such laws." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: John B. Bellinger, III and Kathleen H. Hicks.

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