Sens. Flake, Kaine introduce bill to use military force on three terrorism groups
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) introduced bipartisan legislation on Thursday to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
The Authorization for the Use of Military Force, otherwise known as a AUMF, would “authorize the use of United States Armed Forces” against all three terrorism groups and “associated persons or forces.”
Flake introduced the bill with U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), saying in a press conference that Congressional authorization “will make clear to our allies and our adversaries that we are united in our resolve.”
“It is past time for Congress to voice its support for the war against ISIS, something many military officers and diplomats working to defeat ISIS have advocated for, and for Congress to reassert some of the authority it has abdicated over the years,” Flake said during the press conference.
The last time AUMFs were issued was in 2001 and 2002, in response to the September 11 attacks.
According to the legislation, the AUMFs have been used in at least 37 instances across 14 nations over the past 15 years.
In a press release, Flake’s office said the legislation was needed because “the U.S. fight against those responsible for the September 11th attacks has been expanded to numerous terrorist organizations that did not exist in 2001.”
The bill would also repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.
This is not the first time the two senators introduced legislation for the use of military force against the Islamic State: Flake and Kaine introduced a similar bill under former President Barack Obama in 2015, which went nowhere.