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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.
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.
Iran has some surprising weapons at its disposal. In a 2002 U.S. military exercise that pitted Iran against an invasion from an American task force, the general in command of the opposition was retired Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper. He used motorcycles, small fast-attack boats, land-based missile batteries and even suicide attacks against the Americans.
But he apparently forgot to use Iran's killer dolphin units.
‘We constantly have them on our minds’ — A little-known agency searches all over for the remains of MIA service members
The 80-minute ride each day to the site in Lang Son Province, Vietnam, through mostly unspoiled forestland and fields, reminded Air Force Master Sgt. Aliah Reyes a little of her hometown back in Maine.
The Eliot native recently returned from a 45-day mission to the Southeast Asian country, where she was part of a team conducting a search for a Vietnam War service member who went missing more than 45 years ago and is presumed dead.
Reyes, 38, enlisted in the Air Force out of high school and has spent more than half her life in military service. But she had never been a part of anything like this.
A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.