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Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists


What is the Authorization for the Use of Military Force?


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The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) is a joint resolution of the United States Congress which became law on September 18, 2001, authorizing the use of the United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the September 11 attacks. The authorization granted the President the authority to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the September 11 attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. The AUMF was passed by the 107th Congress on September 14, 2001, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on September 18, 2001. Since 2001, U.S. Presidents have interpreted their authority under the AUMF to extend beyond al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan to apply to numerous other groups as well as other geographic locales. In December 2016, the Office of the President published a brief interpreting the AUMF as providing Congressional authorization for the use of force against al-Qaeda and other militant groups. Today, the full list of actors the U.S. military is fighting or believes itself authorized to fight under the 2001 AUMF is classified and therefore a secret unknown to the American public.
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