Professors Weigh in on Potential Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Islamic State
New York, November 19, 2014—As Congress is poised to consider authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State, Columbia Law School professors who have served in the U.S. government as international law and law of war advisers have published recommendations for what the authorization should include.
President Obama has stated that he wants Congress to refine the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and to seek new authorization to cover the ongoing military efforts against the Islamic State. In separate published pieces, Columbia Law School professors Sarah H. Cleveland and Matthew C. Waxman, along with others, have laid out what they think a new authorization should look like.
- Read the piece co-written by Cleveland, “Principles to Guide Congressional Authorization of the Continued Use of Force Against ISIL.”Cleveland is the Louis Henkin Professor of Human and Constitutional Rights and faculty co-director of the Human Rights Institute. She served as the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State from 2009 to 2011.
- Read the draft AUMF co-written by Waxman. A former senior adviser at the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council, Waxman is the Liviu Librescu Professor of Law and faculty co-chair of the Roger Hertog Program on Law and National Security. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The two pieces, which support similar principles, indicate that there is an emerging consensus among a spectrum of legal experts as to what a new AUMF should look like.
Cleveland and Waxman have both written about and studied the use of force extensively, including as it relates to conflicts between state and non-state actors and autonomous weapons, respectively. In October, Waxman co-wrote a piece in The New Republic about controversial war powers positions put forward by Obama.