Now, all these issues remind us that the choices we make about war can impact -- in sometimes unintended ways -- the openness and freedom on which our way of life depends. And that is why I intend to engage Congress about the existing Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, to determine how we can continue to fight terrorism without keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing.This week there will be bi-partisan efforts in both the House and Senate to reform and/or end the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that began our indefinite war.
The AUMF is now nearly 12 years old. The Afghan war is coming to an end. Core al Qaeda is a shell of its former self. Groups like AQAP must be dealt with, but in the years to come, not every collection of thugs that labels themselves al Qaeda will pose a credible threat to the United States. Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states.
So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.
Liberals who have been vocal in their opposition to the activities this war has enabled (Guantanamo prison, drone strikes, surveillance) have typically been silent about actually ending it. But President Obama has signed on to do just that.
The AUMF doesn't need to be reformed...it needs to be repealed. As the article above says regarding Gitmo:
...ending the AUMF would remove the primary legal justification that allows them [Gitmo detainees] to be held.I'd suggest that as Congress takes this up - its time to weigh in.