Friday, May 10, 2013

The most important national security news this week

No, it was definitely not the Benghazi hearings. And it wasn't about the neocons wet dream of invading Syria.

The most important national security news this week is actually the quiet talks that are happening amongst a few Senators and a hearing that is scheduled for May 16th in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Top senators in both parties have begun talks to revise the congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to lawmakers and aides involved in the discussions...

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin (D-Mich.), and Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) met recently to discuss the issue, the senators and their aides said.

Other senators involved in the talks include Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Corker is the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Levin has scheduled a May 16 hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the matter...

At stake is whether the 9/11 resolution is still relevant more than 12 years after it was adopted by Congress in the wake of the attacks by al Qaeda terrorists on the World Trade Center and Pentagon...

“We need to sit down among ourselves as senators and ask a very timely question. And that is whether the AUMF [authorization of use of military force] that we voted for in 2001 — every senator did who was serving at the time — whether that still serves America’s defense needs today,” Durbin told POLITICO in an interview.
It is important to note that Senator Durbin is perhaps President Obama's strongest ally in Congress. So we can be assured that if he is involved in these talk - they have the support of the President.

Regular readers here will know that for a long time now I've been trying to make the case that we need to end this indefinite war. While too many liberals and libertarians are caught up in droning on about the methods used to implement the war, I strongly believe that the most important thing we could be doing is to ask "When is this 'war on terror' going to be over?"

Those who support President Obama's execution of that war need to realize that its perpetuation leaves an incredibly dangerous precedent for future executives. Even if some magic fairy dust were found that would outlaw drones, the war would remain open-ended using other weapons. We have the best shot at ending that war with Barack Obama in the White House.

One of the major hurdles to accomplishing that has always been the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force which gave the president the authority to target individuals, groups and countries who posed a threat. To end the war means to end that authority and/or replace it with Congressional/Judicial oversight.

While I would share most liberal's concern about the involvement in this of Senators like McCain and Graham - who have consistently called for aggressive prosecution of the "war on terror" - the fact that this is even being discussed is a huge step forward in the right direction.

The question I have is "where are the liberal voices on this?" How about the ones who made so much noise about "standing with Rand" in outrage over the use of drones? Are we going to be silent when it comes time to stand up about the possibility of actually ending this war?


  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I was just thinking about the AUMF and if there were any possibility in the whole wide world for it to be dissolved. Cautiously optimistic.

  2. I agree with Tien Le and thank you as well.

    This is a very important development.

  3. O/T
    Morning, SmartyP. Knowing you work with young people, I just dropped in to share this with you. I suspect you already have heard about it, but just in case...

    The [Shawn Carter] scholarship is offered to students with 2.0 GPA, the formerly incarcerated... those who usually don't qualify for a scholarship ......

    All applicants must be a US Citizen and complete the on-line application no later than the published DEADLINE date, which is MAY 31, 2013.