View Full Version : Rand Paul: Why we must repeal the 16-year-old Authorization for the Use of Military Force

09-11-2017, 09:07 PM
Why we must repeal the 16-year-old Authorization for the Use of Military Force (http://rare.us/rare-politics/issues/foreign-policy/rand-paul-why-we-must-repeal-the-16-year-old-authorization-for-the-use-of-military-force/)
By Rand Paul - September 11, 2017

As Congress takes up the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will insist it vote on my amendment to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.


Because these authorizations to use military force are inappropriately being used to justify American warfare in 7 different countries. Sunsetting both AUMFs will force a debate on whether we continue the Afghanistan war, the Libya war, the Yemen war, the Syria war, and other interventions.

Our military trains our soldiers to be focused and disciplined, yet the politicians who send them to fight have for years ignored those traits when developing our foreign policy.

The result? Trillions spent in seemingly endless conflicts in every corner of the globe, while we find ourselves 16 years into the war in Afghanistan wondering what our purpose there even is any more, or if we’ll ever bring our troops home.

If we don’t get this rudderless foreign policy under control now, we’ll still be asking the same questions another 16 years down the road.

It’s time to demand the policymakers take their own jobs as seriously as the men and women we ask to risk it all for our nation.

Doing so means restoring constitutional checks and balances. Congress has no greater responsibility than defending our country, and the Founders entrusted it with the power of declaring war because they wanted such a weighty decision to be thoroughly debated by the legislature instead of unilaterally made by the Executive branch.

Yet Congress has largely abdicated its role anyways, and its sidekick status was plainly evident when former President Obama proposed a new AUMF for the fight against ISIS while insisting he really had all the authority he needed – it being more of a “wouldn’t it be nice” afterthought than an acknowledgement of any required step.

Repealing the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs would restore respect for the balance of power and reassert Congress’ voice by forcing legislators to specifically approve or disapprove the direction of our foreign policy. If my provision passes, the authorizations would sunset six months later, allowing Congress time for a thorough debate about how we will move forward.

I say this fully aware Congress could propose a blanket authorization I could never vote for, but that vote needs to at least happen.

Let’s hear from those who want that blanket authorization and wish to keep the policy of perpetual war going. Let’s give the American people a chance to see that case laid out and to make their voices known. Their representatives cannot continue to hide behind steps taken 16 years ago to avoid accountability and debating the tough issues now.

Americans were unified in bringing the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks to justice, and the 2001 AUMF reflected that in approving action against those that planned, aided, or carried out the attacks, or protected those who did. I would have voted for it because it was the right thing to do.

It said nothing, however, about launching airstrikes against ISIS in Libya. Or Syria. Or intervening in Yemen.

Although ISIS is a threat we must confront and defeat, we cannot continue to throw our Constitution out the window to do so, or our enemies will have won a crucial victory no matter how many of them we destroy.

Believing in that document – having the confidence that the Founders were students of government’s mistakes throughout history and got it right – strengthens us more than opening yet another front with billions of dollars we have to borrow from another country.

Instead of pursuing a whack-a-mole foreign policy that consistently keeps us on the defensive and endangers our nation by spreading us thin, let’s utilize the same focus and discipline we expect of our military to give them specific authorization as each unique situation warrants.

My amendment would give the U.S. Senate that chance.
More: http://rare.us/rare-politics/issues/foreign-policy/rand-paul-why-we-must-repeal-the-16-year-old-authorization-for-the-use-of-military-force/

09-11-2017, 09:21 PM
Oh, FFS, why doesn't this guy get on the take like the rest of us? I had to postpone buying a second house for my niece because of this asshole. I am not sure if she still likes me. Doesn't the crazy doctor have a family?:rolleyes:

09-12-2017, 09:59 AM
Rand Paul is holding up the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) by remaining silent during Senate quorum call. Without quorum, they can't move ahead.

By Juliegrace Brufke - DailyCaller - 8:09 PM 9/11/2017

...Paul’s silence during the Senate quorum call prevents lawmakers from moving forward, and the Kentucky Republican said he is willing to hold out as long as it takes.

“Tonight, the Senate is attempting to move forward with the Defense Bill. I am seeking an amendment to end the AUMF in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he tweeted. “I will object to all procedural motions and amendments unless and until my amendment is made in order and we vote on these wars.”

The Kentucky Republican said it’s hypocritical for lawmakers to say they are concerned about their constitutional duty to declare war then block a vote to stop the country’s “forgotten, forever war.”...

...Paul blasted lawmakers decision to refuse him the opportunity to debate his measure, calling it “atrocious” it isn’t being taken under consideration.

“There use to be a little collegiality where people would allow debate. We’ve been at war for 17 years, and it’s atrocious that they are preventing me from having a debate on whether we should continue to be at war in Afghanistan, Yemen, Nigeria, Libya, Iraq, Syria — you name it,” he told reporters.



What is it going to take to get Americans out en masse to protest never-ending wars?! :mad:

A few weeks ago, 30 or 40 thousand people showed up in Boston to protest media-alleged "nazis" and "white supremacists" that were never even there!
WTF is wrong with people? Protesting statues, flags and mythical nazis while ignoring forever-war?!

We need a large anti-war protest in DC or this never ends!

09-12-2017, 11:15 AM
From Washington Post - "AUMF takes center stage on defense bill, as one senator threatens to hold it up"

By Karoun Demirjian - September 11 at 9:13 PM

A single senator vowed Monday night to delay the Senate from debating a must-pass, $700 billion defense bill until he is promised a vote to force Congress to pass an authorization for use of military force against extremist groups within six months.

A growing number of lawmakers have been calling for Congress to pass a new AUMF as the war in Afghanistan drags close to its 17th year. But Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has largely been alone in his quest to force a deadline on Congress, as the chief agitators for a new AUMF, Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), have expressed a firm preference for crafting such a measure in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Paul sits on that panel and its chairman, Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), has promised to schedule an AUMF debate soon.

Paul was also alone on the Senate floor Monday night as he pledged to “sit on the floor, in silent protest . . . for as long as needed to ensure Congress do its duty, and vote on ending these wars.” He stressed that he would object to “all procedural moves and amendments” until his AUMF measure was guaranteed a vote.

But less than an hour after issuing his threat, Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to have struck a deal, guaranteeing Paul four hours on Tuesday to state his AUMF case on the Senate floor. In an emailed statement sent shortly after, Paul nonetheless pledged to “continue to fight, and if necessary, object, to continue this debate, secure a vote and force Congress to do its duty.”

In practical terms, Paul’s protesting power is limited. On Monday evening, the Senate voted 89 to 3 to advance the defense bill to the next stage of debate. The next procedural vote can take place early Wednesday morning, and if a quorum of senators are present, Paul will be hard-pressed to stop progress on the bill. Paul could resume his protest at later stages of the debate — but again, procedural time constraints will ultimately frustrate his efforts.

In the process though, his threats could complicate matters for lawmakers who were hoping to secure votes on high-profile amendments they want to attach to the defense bill...


"guaranteeing Paul four hours on Tuesday to state his AUMF case on the Senate floor."
When the time comes Rand Paul, should be live on C-SPAN2. (which, at the moment is not showing Senate activity.)

You should be able to find a link to live coverage from CSPAN's front page :

or perhaps directly from here:

(When it's live, CSPAN does not require any sign-in... I think.)

09-12-2017, 02:26 PM
What is it going to take to get Americans out en masse to protest never-ending wars?! :mad:

A few weeks ago, 30 or 40 thousand people showed up in Boston to protest media-alleged "nazis" and "white supremacists" that were never even there!

WTF is wrong with people? Protesting statues, flags and mythical nazis while ignoring forever-war?!

Exactly as planned. The sheeple are easily manipulated.

09-12-2017, 02:41 PM
I feel disheartened by the current state of affairs. The people want more war. The people don't care about law or constitutionality. The average person couldn't tell you what AUMF meant, much less what its limitations are.

I applaud Rand for fighting the good fight, but I'll say it again. Unless and until the PEOPLE get a swift kick in the balls (economically and Physically), nothing will change.

It should be our goal to do everything we can to bring that collapse to fruition... Tyler Dryden -style.

09-12-2017, 04:24 PM
Well, I had to be away from the internet for a while, but I see that apparently there has already been some discussion on the "Paul amendment" from Jeff Flake, Mike Lee, Jack Reed and Elizabeth Warren. I missed it, and I don't know what happened to Rand, but right now CSPAN 2 is showing unrelated pre-recorded stuff.

Maybe after supper time they will go back to the Senate and Rand will speak. He was supposed to get 4 hours to debate.
If so, it will probably air live from this link:
CSPAN2 LIVE - https://www.c-span.org/video/?433961-2/us-senate-takes-defense-authorization-bill&live

or find a link on the front page https://www.c-span.org

09-12-2017, 06:07 PM
Sen. Paul Calls on Congress to Sunset 2001 and 2002 AUMFs - September 12, 2017


I'm not sure CSPAN allowed this speech to air, although it's possible I missed it during the brief time I had to be away. They kept showing a lot of unrelated stuff while I was watching. It does not seem to exist anywhere on CSPAN right now either. Why would they air four people talking about Rand Paul's amendment, but not air Rand Paul's own speech on the amendment? :confused: Anyone catch the speech live?


U.S. Senate Set to Vote on Sen. Rand Paul’s AUMF Repeal Amendment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, the U.S. Senate will hold a vote on U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to sunset the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force.

This will mark the first Senate vote addressing an AUMF since 2002.

Senator Paul’s amendment would take effect six months after the 2018 NDAA becomes law, giving Congress time to hear from the American people and thoroughly debate granting any new, specific authority. You can read his amendment HERE.

Earlier today, Senator Paul spoke on the Senate floor to demand Congress take its constitutional responsibilities seriously and vote on his amendment.

“I rise today to oppose unauthorized, undeclared, and unconstitutional war,” said Senator Paul.

You can find Senator Paul’s remarks as prepared for delivery HERE, and you can find video of his full remarks on the floor HERE.

Read H. R. 2810 - https://www.paul.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/AUMFAmendmentto2018NDAA.pdf

Sen. Rand Paul - Tuesday, September 12, 2017

(Remarks as prepared for delivery to the U.S. Senate - September 12, 2017)

I rise today to oppose unauthorized, undeclared, and unconstitutional war.

What we have today is basically unlimited war – war anywhere, anytime, any place on the globe.

This vote will be to sunset, in 6 months, the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force.

No one with an ounce of intellectual honesty believes these authorizations allow current wars we fight in 7 countries.

Some of the more brazen advocates of war maintain the President can even fight war in perpetuity without any Congressional authority.

These advocates of perpetual war argue that the Article II powers of the President give unlimited war-making powers to the President.

Madison disagrees.

Madison wrote that the executive is the branch of government “most prone” to war; therefore, the Constitution, “with studied care,” vested the power to declare war with the legislature.

Former President Obama, as a candidate, agreed that a President could not use military force without Congress’ permission unless we were under imminent attack.

Once in the White House, however, President Obama bombed 7 different countries without Congressional authority.

Candidate Trump repeatedly argued that the Afghan War was a disaster and should end.

Once in the White House, however, President Trump is escalating the war in Afghanistan just as President Obama did.

Today, we will debate this issue of war and whether Congress is constitutionally bound to declare war.

We will debate whether one generation can bind another generation to perpetual war.

We will debate whether the war in Afghanistan is winnable.

We will debate whether the war in Yemen is in our vital national interest.

We will debate whether our support for Saudi Arabia is exacerbating starvation and the plague of cholera in Yemen.

For five years, I have fought to get this vote. Today, members of the Senate will stand and be counted.

Will senators stand for the rule of law? Will senators stand for Congressional authority to declare war?

Or, will senators sit idly by and let the wars continue unabated and unauthorized?

Some will argue that sunsetting the old authorizations in six months is too soon, too dramatic.

Really? Six months plus 16 years of war should be plenty of time to discover one’s position on war.

Today’s vote can be seen as a proxy vote for the Constitution.

Today’s vote is not really a vote for or against any particular war.

Today’s vote is simply a vote on whether we will obey the Constitution.

Today’s vote is a vote on whether Congress will step up and do its job.

Sixteen and a half years is more than enough time to determine whether the war in Afghanistan has purpose or real meaning for our national security.

When the vote to go to war in Iraq was taken, some senators felt they were hoodwinked. That the information to justify the war was manipulated.

For years now, some senators and candidates have lamented that they voted for the Iraq War.

Today’s vote will be remembered as the first vote in 16 years on whether to continue fighting everywhere, all the time without ever having the renewed approval of Congress.

I hope senators will think long and hard about the seven ongoing wars and, at the very least, show regard for our young soldiers and go on the record to uphold their oath of office and defend the Constitution and its requirements with regard to war.

I, for one, will stand with our soldiers, young and brave. Sent to fight in distant lands in a forgotten, forever war.

I will stand for the Constitution.

I will stand with our Founding Fathers, who did everything possible to make the initiation of war difficult.

I hope my colleagues will stand for something. I hope my colleagues will finally vote to do their Constitutional duty and oversee or discontinue the many wars we are in.

It is the least we can do to honor the service of our brave young soldiers.


09-12-2017, 07:56 PM
Taking names and dishing shame.

Blood on my hands because I'm too politically motivated to accept responsibility will be an interesting addition to a Reps usual campaign challenges.

This is quite an opportunity. Atta boy Rand.

09-13-2017, 09:59 AM
Rand Speaking now.