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. 
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.