Ask your members of Congress to vote no on authorizing the use of military force.

Background: President Obama has proposed an “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” (AUMF) against the Islamic State group.  Members of Congress are considering the president’s proposal and could eventually move to a vote on final legislation in both the House and Senate.

As proposed by the president, the AUMF:

  • would last for three years before needing to be reauthorized,
  • does not contain geographic limitations on where force can be used,  
  • would allow the use of U.S. armed forces in limited circumstances, and
  • could be used against any individual or organization deemed to be associated with the Islamic State group.

It would also repeal the 2002 authorization for the invasion of Iraq, but does not repeal the 2001 authorization that was put in place after the September 11 attacks. The 2001 AUMF has been used to justify various actions, such as lethal drone strikes, in the “war on terror” in the years since then.

Congress’ debate about the AUMF continues to center unhelpfully on a militarized solution to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Sorely needed instead is a focus on negotiated, political solutions.

Read more: To the president, at war with Islamic State | Money, power and the roots of war

Faith reflection: “The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save” (Psalm 33:17).

Action: Ask your members of Congress to vote no on authorizing the use of military force.


Alert updated April 2, 2015 by Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director.