Ten years after 9/11, some Republicans want a new AUMF on terrorism

The new language drops any reference to 9/11 and “affirms” a state of “armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.” The measure also explicitly gives the president the right to take prisoners “until the termination of hostilities” – something the courts have found to be implicit in the current version of the AUMF, though the new proposal could be seen to extend that power.

The revision is justified, according to Thornberry, because Al Qaeda is increasingly decentralized and because some dangerous splinter groups aren’t obviously connected to the 2001 attacks…

But critics say the Republican-sponsored measure amounts to the first full-scale declaration of war by the U.S. since World War II – at a moment when counter-terrorism efforts are succeeding, the U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq, and about to begin a withdrawal from Afghanistan. And, they say, it gives Obama and any successor carte blanche to attack any individual or any nation without further approval from Congress.