The Lawfare Podcast


AUMF Reform After Afghanistan

Since January, talk about reforming the nearly 20-year-old 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, that provides the legal basis for most overseas U.S. counterterrorism activities, has once again been on the rise. While past efforts have generally failed to yield results, the combination of growing bi-partisan disenchantment with the status quo and a seemingly supportive Biden administration had led some to believe that this is the moment in which reform might finally happen. But now, the collapse in Afghanistan has some wondering whether the Biden administration will still have an appetite for the type of risk that AUMF reform is likely to entail, especially given that President Biden appears to have doubled down on global counterterrorism efforts in recent public remarks. 

Scott R. Anderson sat down with two leading experts in war powers: Professor Oona Hathaway of Yale Law School and Professor Matt Waxman of Columbia Law School. They discussed where the impetus for reform comes from, what AUMF reforms may be on the table and what recent events mean for the future of reform efforts.

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Rational Security: The "Nothing To Be Thankful For" Edition

For Thanksgiving, we’re bringing you something a little different—an episode of Rational Security, our light, conversational show about national security and related topics. This week, Alan, Quinta and Scott were joined by special guest,Quinta's co-host of the Arbiters of Truth series on theLawfarepodcast feedEvelyn Douek! They sat down to discuss:—“Getting Rittenhoused”: A jury recently acquitted 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of murder charges for shooting two men in what he claimed was self-defense during last summer’s unrest. What does his trial and its aftermath tell us about the intersection of politics with our criminal justice system?— “Now That’s a Power Serve”: A global pressure campaign by professional tennis players has forced Chinese officials to disclose the location of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who disappeared after publicly accusing a former senior official of sexual assault. Is this a new model for dealing with Chinese human rights abuses?— “Duck Say Quack and Fish Go Blub—But What Did Fox Say?”: Two prominent conservative commentators have resigned from Fox News over its release of a Tucker Carlson film that they say spreads misinformation and promotes violence. Will this be enough to force the network to curb its behavior?For object lessons, Quinta endorsed her favoritepie dough recipe. Alan in turn made an unorthodox recommendation of what to put in that dough:sweet potato pie. Scott encouraged listeners to follow up that big meal with a cup of coffee, made on his belovedAeropresswith aPrismo filter attachment. And if that doesn't work, Evelyn suggested folks tuck in for a nap with her favorite weighted blanket fromBearaby.Be sure to visit our show page atwww.lawfareblog.comand to follow us on Twitter at@RatlSecurity.And Rational Security listeners can now get a committed ad-free feed by becoming a Lawfare material supporter!