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Thread: AUMF vs. Declaration of War - What is the difference?

  1. #1

    AUMF vs. Declaration of War - What is the difference?

    What is the difference between an AUMF vs. a declaration of war?

    I have done some research but it still seems murky. from what i understand a dec. of war is almost a reactive declaration. it is stating that a state of war exists... as if we have been attacked already whereas an AUMF is a proactive declaration and states that the president can use force but not necessarily that a state of war already exists.. i.e. we may or may not have already been attacked.

    So if that is the case... would AUMF's be unconstitutional or constitutional? If congress passed an AUMF it is kind of like a declaration of and kind of not...
    just me



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    In my opinion: The international laws of war have been formulated over centuries. These laws involve most actions that are germane to a state of war, covering declarations of war (jus ad bellum) and the waging of war (jus in bello). The latter necessarily follows the former, and if the former principle is not assumed/declared, then the latter legal principle(s) will not apply. Thus, by engaging in AUMF, instead of declaring a war, the State avoids assuming the legal duties regarding the waging of war.

    War crimes? As a matter of definition war crimes can only occur during a state of war. We are not at war, merely engaging in an AUMF. An AUMF is a euphemistic legal strategy that allows the state to enter what is effectively a state of war without incurring the limitations on its behavior that would accompany the declaration of a war. Of course, the USCMJ would still apply to service members, so this fact could be concealed by selective prosecution of service members for 'war crimes,' but note how far down the chain of command. So much for the implications re: international law.

    Regarding the US Constitution? The term, "AUMF" does not appear. It is conceded that the term is different from a declaration of war. "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
    Last edited by bv3; 04-18-2020 at 01:33 PM.



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