Agrees on AUMFs

To the Editor: I read with interest David Harsanyi’s Oct. 14 column, “Hey Congress: Take back your war powers!”

While I doubt that Mr. Harsanyi and I agree on all specific engagements, we do agree that “Presidents have been abusing authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) … without any coherent endgame.”

Fortunately, for the first time in over a decade our elected representatives in Washington and the people of New Hampshire have the opportunity to take concrete steps to rein in this abuse.

The House and Senate are reconciling their two versions of the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The House version of the defense authorization act includes a repeal of the 2002 AUMF (which authorized military action against Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, a war which ended in 2011).

This AUMF should be repealed because it is no longer needed, and creates the potential for abuse — the current administration has made it clear that they believe this AUMF could be distorted to authorize a unilateral war with Iran, usurping Congress’s war powers.

New Hampshire residents have an easy opportunity for a common-sense fix with supporters across the political spectrum: call or write Senator Shaheen and Senator Hassan and ask them to make sure that the final NDAA includes the House repeal of the 2002 AUMF so that Congress can begin to reclaim its constitutional authority to determine when and where the U.S. commits to foreign wars.