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20 November 2017


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A question from a German not to knowledgeable of the related US law:

Does this enable Trump gov. taking military action in NK without congress approval? As far as i understand, there are no formal declarations of war against those mentioned other country's. And any president could use military force as long as they pretend to "only" execute a "anti-terror" operation.




IMO, yes. pl


Am I missing something-not that it would be the first time. Doesn't there have to be a nexus with 9.1 for the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force)?

"Section 2 – Authorization For Use of United States Armed Forces
(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."



The "nexus" under this law is whatever the president says it is. pl


As the Colonel noted, the AUMF has been applied far and wide to countries who AFAIK have no connection to 9/11. Also, the AUMF is fairly flexible as it allow the President to "determine" who "harbored" any "organization" that "aided" 9/11.

The whole Iraq War was based on not only non-existent WMDs but also a bogus connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, while completely ignoring all the Saudis directly involved in 9/11. (Note: there was a separate authorization for war with Iraq besides the AUMF. But the justification was "terrorism".)

So now, the AUMF is a blank check.

The question now: Is this move just, as the report suggested, to "increasing pressue" on North Korea (which is it unlikely to do IMO) or is it a move precisely to give the President justification to start a new war with North Korea without (immediate) Congressional approval?

Given that some Congresscritters have been demanding a new law to authorize - and restrain - the President to conduct military operations, and that the White House has explicitly refused to consider that, I'd say the odds are this is a move to make sure Trump can attack North Korea.

IIRC, the AUMF allows the President to do what he wants up to 90 days. With North Korea, those 90 days could cost a couple million people their lives.


That list of countries where the US invoked the AUMF includes Georgia. I googled around a bit and found Georgia on such a list. However, I couldn't find out when or why that happened. When were US forces engaged combat in Georgia? Does anyone know what the circumstances are?

Green Zone Café

I don't think the AUMF authorizes an attack on North Korea in any way, but I agree the commanders would comply, at least up to anything but sudden megatons on Pyongyang. Mattis and the commanders might balk at that, it's blatantly disproportionate and aggression.

The use of low-yield nukes on nuclear facilities could be denied. The pros would know, of course, but "experts" would be led out to say "Of course there's radiation from this conventional bombing - it was a nuclear site!"

Just one more aspect of our doom.



It really doesn't matter if you think the AUMF authorizes war in North Korea. The actual question is whether or not the administration can plausibly claim that it does and whether trhat will overcome the scruples of senior officers. Like you, I say it will. Megatons on Pyongyang is fantasy. Massive other strikes are not. pl


I am surprised that Venezuela is not on the List, considering that the only criterion seems to be "opposes US policy."


That does seem to be true. Problem with NK and terrorism is that nobody thinks that NK supports terrorism and placing it on that list makes the whole concept of the list suspect.

Bill Herschel

Everything depends on how Trump's mind works.

1) He only cares about himself. He is willing to turn on a dime about anything at all if he believes it will benefit him.

2) He will not accept being a one-term President. Out of the question.

3) He got beat in the Alabama Primary and Republicans are facing Armageddon in '18. If they lose control of either house, he's a one term President. That's putting aside his abysmal popularity ratings.

4) Are the Saudi's, his bankrollers, urging him to go to war in NK? Why not?

How does he think about invading NK? How did Louis Napoleon think about invading Prussia? For that matter, how have countless American Presidents felt about going to war? Why not start with Woodrow Wilson.

And does he know that W. Bush was for sure and certain a one termer without war?

Babak Makkinejad

They were not sponsoring terrorism, they were doing it back in late 1970s against South Korea.
But I agree that the idea of taking Sovereign Immunity away via US Law is not conducive to anything but war.

Babak Makkinejad

Not Wilson, TR.

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