The current Authorization for Use of Military Force pre-dates my commission by 5 years, and is still the same one that remains in effect in my 12th year of service. A 17-year-old authorization being stretched to justify military action is not what I would really argue constitutes a well-defined strategy or mission for servicemembers. This will be even more true in a couple short years when force is being carried out by those not even born when the authorization was signed.
‘Forever war’ is now officially part of U.S. foreign policy. A pair of letters recently sent by the Departments of Defense and State reveal that U.S. troops deployed to Syria for anti-ISIS operations are settling in for an open-ended presence in the war-torn country.
Last March, in his first public testimony after being confirmed as secretary of defense, retired Marine general James Mattis delivered a strong message to lawmakers tasked with overseeing the Pentagon’s budget: The future of America’s forever wars rests in your hands.
In a narrow vote Wednesday that showed lawmakers’ lingering unease, the Senate declined to repeal the authorization Congress gave for military action after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.