Happy 17th Birthday To The Forever War

Code Red News
Cpl. Reece Lodder/US Marine Corps

It's the 17th birthday of the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which gave President George W. Bush and every president since a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists.


Passed on Sep. 14, 2001, and signed into law on Sep. 18, the AUMF authorized the President 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."

Although some members of Congress believed at the time the law may be considered overly broad, most believed it would only apply to members of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, or nations and groups with a direct connection to the 9/11 attack. Only one member of Congress voted against it, California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee.

The AUMF was used as intended to deploy troops to Afghanistan days after Bush's signature. A year later, it was being used to justify deploy troops to the Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — and it hasn't slowed down since.

Related: Thousands Of Troops Are Deployed To Combat Zones, But We Haven’t Declared War In Decades »

The seemingly-narrow group of folks one would think were involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to AUMF deployments, has also led to deployments to Djibouti, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and the Horn of Africa — not to mention Iraq. President Barack Obama even deployed troops to fight against ISIS, which didn't exist at the time of the attacks, under the auspices of the AUMF.

So happy birthday, AUMF. Despite some members of Congress attempting to replace you with something more specific — or, perhaps, do their constitutional duty of oversight of the nation's wars — you have stayed the course and have allowed them to not have to take part in tough votes that could hurt their reelection chances.

U.S. Military Academy Class of 2022 conducted a 12 mile road march as family and former graduates cheered them on, concluding six weeks of Cadet Basic Training Aug. 13, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Matthew Moeller)

Search efforts are underway to find a West Point cadet, who has gone missing along with his M4 carbine, the U.S. Military Academy announced on Sunday.

"There is no indication the Cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself," a West Point news release says.

Academy officials do not believe the missing cadet has access to any magazines or ammunition, according to the news release, which did not identify the cadet, who is a member of the Class of 2021.

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Soldiers from the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in their Bradley Fighting Vehicle during Marne Focus at Fort Stewart, Ga. during the week of Oct. 14, 2019 (U.S. Army photo)

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U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. (Reuters/Erin Scott)

KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.

Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.

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Ummmmmm what? (Twitter)

Mark Esper is the third person after James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan to helm the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, and he's apparently not making much of an impression on the commander-and-chief.

On Sunday, Trump sent a very real tweet on "Secretary Esperanto," which is either a reference to a constructed international language developed more than 130 years ago and only spoken on the PA system in Gattaca or an egregious instance of autocorrect.

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The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.

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