War on Terror

Biden Says He Wants War Authorizations Repealed

Just keep an eye on the small print. The wars might officially end while still allowing inappropriate military meddling.

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Politico reports today that President Joe Biden is willing to work with Congress to repeal the Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs) that launched the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and continue to be invoked today to justify military intervention throughout the Middle East.

This could be great news, depending on what ultimately gets negotiated. The problem is that while Biden talks a good game about ending "forever wars" (as did his two predecessors), the most recent military strike on Syria shows that our president wants to keep the authority to engage in some surgical uses of force. And while Biden did campaign on ending the wars (as did all the Democratic candidates), he still wants to keep some military forces active in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East to collect intelligence.

The statement White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sent Politico said Biden wants to "ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars."

Reading between the lines, though, while Biden wants to end the full military authorizations, he still wants to be able to act on what the administration sees as threats without having to get the approval of Congress.

On Wednesday, Sens. Tim Kaine (D–Va.) and Todd Young (R–Ind.) introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal two AUMFs passed in 1991 and 2002 that authorized military force in Iraq.

At the moment, that's all the resolution does. It repeals the two AUMFs, does nothing else, and replaces them with nothing. This is good, meaning that there aren't any exceptions here authorizing strategic or smaller military interventions in Iraq.

But the resolution most notably does not repeal the AUMF passed in 2001 just days after September 11, which authorizes the use of the military against any nation, terrorist group, or individual the president deems to have been involved in the attacks. That AUMF is why we still have troops in Afghanistan, and so this resolution will not end our military intervention there.

We are being warned that, despite the promises made both to Americans and the Afghan government, the Biden administration may not pull military forces out by the established May deadline.

Politico says that Biden's office is looking to Kaine to lead a bipartisan discussion of the repeals of the AUMFs. Keep an eye on what Kaine actually ends up writing. Back in 2018, after Trump's unauthorized military strike on Syria, he drafted a resolution that actually expanded the president's authority to engage in military strikes against selected terrorist organizations without having to get permission from Congress.

That language is fortunately not in the resolution introduced this week. But because Kaine and Young didn't include the 2001 AUMF in the resolution, we can predict that the administration is looking to negotiate keeping at least some military forces in Afghanistan and perhaps elsewhere in the Middle East.

NEXT: U.S. Lifts Tariffs on Scotch Whisky, but American Distillers Remain on the Rocks

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  1. Bipartisan antiwar bills. What’s not to love? More this, less 2 trillion spending bills, please.

    1. ok sarcasmic

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      2. Hey Damiksec, damiskec, and damikesc, and ALL of your other socks…
        How is your totalitarian scheme to FORCE people to buy Reason magazines coming along?

        Free speech (freedom from “Cancel Culture”) comes from Facebook, Twitter, Tik-Tok, and Google, right? THAT is why we need to pass laws to prohibit these DANGEROUS companies (which, ugh!, the BASTARDS, put profits above people!)!!! We must pass new laws to retract “Section 230” and FORCE the evil corporations to provide us all (EXCEPT for my political enemies, of course!) with a “UBIFS”, a Universal Basic Income of Free Speech!

        So leftist “false flag” commenters will inundate Reason-dot-com with shitloads of PROTECTED racist comments, and then pissed-off readers and advertisers and buyers (of Reason magazine) will all BOYCOTT Reason! And right-wing idiots like Damikesc will then FORCE people to support Reason, so as to nullify the attempts at boycotts! THAT is your ultimate authoritarian “fix” here!!!

        “Now, to “protect” Reason from this meddling here, are we going to REQUIRE readers and advertisers to support Reason, to protect Reason from boycotts?”
        Yup. Basically. Sounds rough. (Quote damikesc)

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        See https://reason.com/2020/06/24/the-new-censors/#comment-8316852

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    3. One of the guys that worked for me is sitting with his A-Team in Afghanistan. They are surrounded by Taliban and they cannot trust their own troops whatsoever. Sooner or later, it will go bad for our troops there.
      Contracts. The US military and the US contractors are building buildings, airfields, and other infrastructure that the Afghans never wanted, and will never use. Who thinks we should be spending that money here? Everyone, except the politicians, the retired Generals, and equipment suppliers.

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  2. The guy that put thousands of troops back in Iraq?

    1. To clarify, Reason’s position on the President that got our troops out of Syria was that he abandoned our Kurdish “allies”, and Reason didn’t even bother talking about the President that got our troops out of Afghanistan.

      1. They hardly bothered to mention the peace deal with the Taliban let alone write an article about it.

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      2. Not the first time.
        The US Army left Kurds loyal to the US in Northern Iraq after Operation Provide Comfort. We had a group of about 250 Kurdish security and their families. The US promised them that we would get them out after they helped US forces. They helped us and protected us. They sent a young Captain to inform them that the US screwed them. Many of them were tortured by Saddam’s forces after we left.
        Never, ever trust the US government.

        1. We can’t stay around forever…. let’s get real here.

  3. “We are being warned that, despite the promises made both to Americans and the Afghan government, the Biden administration may not pull military forces out by the established May deadline.”

    Nothing like a good dose of naivety to counterbalance a bevy of gilded promises. Keep holding out hope, Reason.

  4. Fantastic if true, but since it’s the oligarchy proposing it I’m worried about what they’re not mentioning.

  5. So end the wars, while retaining unilateral authority to engage in acts of war. Seems legit

  6. Biden Says He Wants War Authorizations Repealed

    Well sure he does, but how much can one guy do? He’s only the President. It’s not like he’s the Commander in Chief of all U.S. military forces globally, and could just order them around or something.

    Come on, man. He’s a victim of these wars, just like all of us.

    1. You joke, but do you remember what happened the last time a president tried to pull troops out of a foreign country?

      1. The troops went home to their families, the country saved billions, and they left those Middle Eastern Islamic apes to kill each other without us?
        If you have lived, worked, and fought in the Middle East, you learn one lesson over and over. You cannot bring peace, or even sanity, to the Middle East. People get killed but nothing ever changes. More people get killed when the US gets involved.
        What if we never invaded? ISIS would have never been.

        1. The troops went home to their families, the country saved billions, and they left those Middle Eastern Islamic apes to kill each other without us?

          No, the bureaucrats charged with carrying out that president’s orders refused to do so and lied to the American people about it. My point is that it’s not as easy for even the president to get the troops out by just ordering it to happen if a well-funded cabal of powerful people that has fortified our government against public accountability disagrees.

          1. All of Congress should be fighting to bring them home. The American people should be questioning this. Most Americans just can’t be bothered. 20 years straight, nothing gained whatsoever, plus the dozen other countries that we are involved in. I received a call the other day, $1500 a day to go to Joe’s newest startup country. Good money, but my soul and conscience can take no more.
            When Rome finally fell it was due to two very basic things. 1. There were few actual Romans left. 2. Diversity of population. Their expansion and wars brought many non Romans to Rome that hated Romans and Rome.
            Anyone seeing that here?

            1. When Rome finally fell it was due to two very basic things.

              No, it wasn’t.

              1. This could be an interesting conversation. I think Talcum is oversimplifying the situation, but specifically do you think s/he’s wrong? And is why s/he’s wrong relevant to our issues in SW Asia?

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    2. Sounds like anybody that argues for higher taxes – “I’d be glad to do good things as long as you put a gun to my head.” Why does Biden need his power to do bad things repealed in order for him to refuse to do bad things? The whole reason he says he supports curtailing his authority is because he knows damn well it won’t be but he can say he was in favor of it.

  7. “replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars.”

    In other words he wants to end foreign wars but keep foreign intervention alive.

    1. Welcome to Wilsonian foreign policy, to go along with Wilsonian domestic policy.

      1. A new World War to follow shortly.

        I suspect Edith Wilson was better at driving the bus than either Kamala or Dr. Jill though.

  8. While the ideal remedy would be to just cut off Presidential authority it seem doubtful that will happen. Problem is once you give this authority no executive will want to give it back. No political party will go against their President. So a partial remedy must be the best we can get and it might be good to take that if its is offered.

  9. The problem is that while Biden talks a good game about ending “forever wars” (as did his two predecessors), the most recent military strike on Syria shows that our president wants to keep the authority to engage in some surgical uses of force.

    Biden didn’t order that strike. He was sitting in his recliner watching Antiques Roadshow when he was handed a document he didn’t read by some flunky who got it from someone else who got it from someone else. Biden isn’t running the executive branch. It’s a large group of unknown people around him.

    1. Please cite the Q email that told you this.

      1. That Biden clearly hasn’t the foggiest idea what’s going on and is reading things off of a teleprompter that he’s never seen until just this moment?

        Do you also need a cite that the sky is blue?

        1. OK S=C this is a little beneath you unless you gone off the deep end recently. Biden old but he still sharp and certainly sharper than the former President.

          1. “Sharp” is a strong term. Pointing out that Biden is/was clearly not the one calling the shots in either his campaign or his administration is no ways near Q-level stuff. Observing that Biden is often clearly reading things off of a teleprompter without fully understanding what he’s saying is not some sign of succumbing to conspiracy theories.

            The difference between Trump and Biden here is not “sharpness” – it’s Biden’s willingness to follow orders from the foreign policy establishment.

            1. But I also confess to despising Joe Biden more than I do most politicians, even, so I may be biased. I was planning on voting for Obama until he chose Biden as his running mate, which was his “you’re dead to me” moment.

              1. I have no problem with your disliking Biden. I think you are being unfair when you suggest that he senile. He is old and subject to many issues the old face. But it is unfair to suggest that he is more than that.

                I have watched Biden and he speaks well off the cuff as wells a from prepared text. That he uses prepared text is not a problem for me, because we have no proof that he is not engaged in the preparation of that text. The use of prepared text before a teleprompter tells me that this administration is concerned about message discipline. This was in my mind a very big part of the problem with the Trump administration, where the message changed from one minute to the next.

          2. Biden old but he still sharp and certainly sharper than the former President.

            Like fuckin’ hell he is. His handlers won’t even let him out of the basement to do a press conference. If he doesn’t have a teleprompter to read from AND spends multiple hours memorizing his pre-prepared lines, he goes off the reservation. It’s even been reported that, during the campaign season, he’d claim that he’d never say stuff that he’d actually said in a speech just a few days before.

            Just because Trump would ramble like a bombastic jackass and spar with the press doesn’t mean that he didn’t know what was going on around him. Biden’s a puppet for the oligarchs, nothing more.

            1. “His handlers won’t even let him out of the basement to do a press conference.”

              +1 Generic Zoom background.

          3. “Biden old but he still sharp”

            Oh shit… my pants just caught on fire.

          4. Biden was not all that sharp when he was young and is certainly in mental decline.

      2. Fuck you, troll. He’s in the beginning to intermediate stages of dementia.

        1. In his defense, he spent the last 40 yrs. writing crime bills and signing AUMFs that he now has to disclaim and walk back in order to continue as president. I’d get up every morning and wonder what the fuck I’d been doing too.

  10. Biden SAID he wants unity.

    1. Can’t unify with animals baring their teeth at you and trying to bite you.

      1. Put better- *Republicans* say they want unity (now, of course, when they aren’t in power) but all they mean is they want everything their way. When that inevitably doesn’t happen they cry and bitch and moan about how “unfair” it is.

        Imagine the great majority voting for Democratic candidates and getting shitty Republican policy. An affront to this country.

        1. Your guy literally ran on the unity concept. How short the memory, how quickly the memory hole opens.

          https://youtu.be/YoiUnwTz4lA?t=271

        2. I don’t want unity. Democrats can go fuck themselves. Republicans can go fuck themselves too, but less so. I’d prefer a divided country.

        3. Put better – raspberrydinners is an idiot and can be safely ignored as they never contribute anything of note.

      2. Can’t unify with animals baring their teeth at you and trying to bite you.

        Then why did they say they wanted it?

      3. Yes you can. Plenty of them taste great sauteed in garlic.

  11. If the democrats were actually anti war they would have helped Trump but TDS is a strange poison. They really don’t want an end they just want to change the name, they learned well from George O’rwell

  12. Bombs away Biden has no credibility when it comes to this shit.

    Still beats fascist, senile Trump.

    But fuck Biden

    1. Mitt Romney is the candidate for you!

  13. Let’s just take a glance at the globe here – – – –
    First we promise to get back into a deal that guarantees Iran a path to a nuke. Then we leave Iraq. Nah. no way that could go wrong.
    A cynic would think Biden was jealous of Trump’s spectacular middle peace overtures. A realist would think the democrats are a bunch of anti-semitic fascists out to destroy Israel.

    1. They’re also trying to hang Saudi Arabia and the UAE out to dry, so to be fair, while they are antisemitic fascists, their antisemitism is only partially driving their foreign policy decisions.

      1. Technically speaking, Arabs are Semites, too.

        1. This is a good point that many people miss. The term anti-semite doesn’t actually refer to a religious group but rather a groups for a region.

          1. No, it definitely refers to hatred of Jews. The term ‘antisemitism’ was coined by the Jew haters of the era in the late 19th century, when Jew hating was falling out of vogue, to sell their ideology in more politically correct terms. Much like the Jew haters of the early 21st century have switched to selling their ideology as ‘anti-Israel’ when ‘antisemitism’ has fallen out of vogue.

  14. “The statement White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sent Politico said Biden wants to “ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework that will ensure we can protect Americans from terrorist threats while ending the forever wars.””

    Seems pretty sensible.

    Sure it’s not complete disengagement like some here want but that isn’t going to happen at the drop of a hat. But hey, keep bellyaching about how this isn’t the perfect thing you want. If a Libertarian president said this you’d praise him/her.

    1. Translation:

      We still want to have the power to start wars at a moment’s notice, for any reason, and for however long it takes to wage them, but we also want to assure you, concerned members of the American electorate, that we want nothing more than to bring an end to the unilateral waging of unauthorized, unending wars.

    2. Biden wants to “ensure that the authorizations for the use of military force currently on the books are replaced with a narrow and specific framework

      Which is why they are repealing the narrow and specific AUMFs and keeping the broadest, vaguest one. Because politicians are famous for accurately describing their intentions.

    3. Seems pretty sensible.

      As I noted above:

      raspberrydinners is an idiot and can be safely ignored as they never contribute anything of note.

      Never have I been proven correct so quickly & so thoroughly.

    4. Yeah, this is Biden’s renegotiation of NAFTA, except where Trump wanted a better deal, Biden wants to retain the ability to (continue to) go to war.

  15. “The problem is that while Biden talks a good game about ending “forever wars” (as did his two predecessors), the most recent military strike on Syria shows that our president wants to keep the authority to engage in some surgical uses of force.”

    Retaliating shouldn’t require an act of Congress just like defending yourself shouldn’t require an act of Congress. Ordering your troops to retaliate against those who are attacking them should be well within the authority of the Commander in Chief.

    There is a big difference between retaliating against someone who attacks you and fighting a war. It should certainly require an act of Congress to send ground troops into another country without that country’s permission.

    Just because we’re against unjustified wars, stupid wars, and unconstitutional wars doesn’t mean we need to obtuse about it. Being the Commander in chief does come with some powers that don’t require an act of Congress, but those powers do not include initiating attacks against foreign countries.

  16. Only SleepyJoe with his keen mind and quick wits can solve this problem he helped create.

  17. (D) doesn’t end wars.

  18. Since Obama shredded the limits put in place by the War Powers Act with his overthrow of Libya, Congress’ will is really superfluous.

  19. You can expect more wars, Democrats are quite fond of them.

    End warfare and welfare, and watch this country prosper. Do that by getting rid of shitbag commie thugs from the bureaucracy and out of politics.

    1. Do that by getting rid of shitbag commie thugs from the bureaucracy and out of politics.

      Careful, now. Sounds an awful lot like INSURRECTION.

      1. Especially since purging only the bureaucracy and political class won’t cut it anymore.

        We’re in for a really bad fucking time.

  20. Biden has just made it more or less official–he’s tearing up the peace deal and full withdrawal agreement Trump negotiated with the Taliban.

    “Biden’s new effort would likely set aside a deal negotiated between the Trump administration and the Taliban. It would also likely delay a U.S. troop withdrawal by May that was part of the deal.

    Former President Donald Trump agreed last year to withdraw all troops within a period of 14 months in return for a Taliban promise to ensure that terrorist groups never again use Afghanistan as a haven to plot attacks against the U.S. and its allies. The 14-month period expires on May 1.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-officials-propose-afghan-taliban-summit-to-form-interim-government-11614983054?

    The Biden administration is arguing that Trump’s agreement does nothing to guarantee the rights of women after the U.S. leaves, but the question isn’t whether the U.S. leaving is in the best interests of Afghan women. The question is whether leaving is in the best interests of the United States. If we can’t leave until the Islamic fundamentalists who control the Taliban become feminists, then we will never leave.

    The Biden administration is arguing that the Taliban continues to escalated violence against the U.S. backed government in Kabul and that the Taliban continues to maintain close ties with Al Qaeda, but the question isn’t whether the Taliban is escalating violence of maintains ties with Al Qaeda. The question is whether staying in Afghanistan is in the best interest of the United States.

    The Taliban has not targeted a single American since the day Trump signed the peace deal and withdrawal agreement 12 months ago, but that will all change now that it has become obvious that the United States has no intention of leaving–ever.

    The war in Afghanistan is back on.

    Fuck Joe Biden. Fuck the warmongering Democrats.

    1. If we can’t leave until the Islamic fundamentalists who control the Taliban become feminists, then we will never leave.

      I can’t even see the goalposts anymore. Can you?

      1. I said this here towards the end of 2001, several website iterations ago: if your victory conditions in Afghanistan require making them good little Rotarians, you’re going to need to put a million and a half to two million Pashtun in the ground. Which isn’t going to happen. And since 28 May 1998, the US was never going to rid themselves of either Taliban sanctuaries or overt support.

        So if your victory conditions involved getting rid of the Taliban, you were doomed to failure. Killing the bastards responsible for 9/11 (well, those not residing in KSA or the rest of the Gulf, anyway) was the best you could do. And we let OBL go. SBS had his convoy in their sights, ready to go, waiting for the US to give the OK. (Simply taking the ten or so navigable passes in winter between PKK and KP with Rangers and/or Airborne never occurred to them, I guess.)

        Which never occurred obviously, and he ended up as a guest in Abbottabad.

        1. “Killing the bastards responsible for 9/11 (well, those not residing in KSA or the rest of the Gulf, anyway) was the best you could do. And we let OBL go. SBS had his convoy in their sights, ready to go, waiting for the US to give the OK. ”

          I always thought the “search” for Osama Bin Laden was a lot like “The Fugitive” TV show (1963-1967). If Dr. Richard Kimball does actually catch the One-Armed Man™©® well, then, the show’s over. The Show with David Jansen ran for 4 seasons but the one with OBL ran for 10 before ratings fell and it had to be, ahem, cancelled.

          1. I don’t think they could have sold regime-change in Iraq if the US had the catharsis of catching and killing OBL 18 months prior. Regime change in Iraq was evidently pretty damned important to Bush the Lesser and his royal court.

    2. And fuck Reason magazine for opposing the actions that they should’ve liked because the guy taking them was foul-mouthed in favor of swooning for the overtures of the guy they do like while ignoring the fact that he’s effectively a warmonger.

      1. he’s effectively a warmonger

        I mean, FFS, 40 yrs. of political history of this guy, including voting for the AUMF and sitting at the right hand for the last several wars we started, and he issues one statement that they themselves acknowledge has a big fucking loophole built into it and they act like “Keep an eye on him, there’s a chance he might do the right thing.”

        Fuck every last one of them with a rusty pole.

    3. The war in Afghanistan is back on.

      War authorizations to be repealed as he perpetrates a ‘declaration of no peace’.

  21. Help me out here; as commander in chief, does Basement Bunker Biden actually HAVE to order troops into places?
    Why does he have to get the legislature to pass (repeal?) legislation?

    To: All US troops in the middle east
    From: CIC
    Subject: Orders of the day
    Pack up and come on home.

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