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Tillerson, Mattis caution against revoking war authorizations

by Evan Wilt
Posted 10/31/17, 11:16 am

WASHINGTON—Top Trump administration officials warned lawmakers Monday night against repealing the longstanding use of military force authorizations. There is growing bipartisan momentum to strike down the measures passed by Congress in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and in 2002 before the start of the Iraq War. Lawmakers want to replace those with a new authorization specifically targeting terror groups. But Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the old authorizations still hold merit. “This has been a long 16-year conflict characterized by a very different kind of warfare,” Mattis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The 2001 and 2002 authorizations to use military force, or AUMF, remain a sound basis for ongoing U.S. military operations against a mutating threat.” Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., introduced a new AUMF in May. They argued the current authorization is outdated and it’s time for a refresh. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said his colleagues have made a good argument for a new AUMF, but he doesn’t expect a vote anytime soon: “So far, Congress has been unable to bridge the gap between those who see a new AUMF as primarily an opportunity to limit the president and those who believe constraining the commander in chief in wartime is unwise.”

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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