Proven Right: Barbara Lee and the Prophecy of Forever Wars

On September 14th, 2001, Congress passed a 60-word joint resolution granting President George W. Bush nearly unchecked authority to fight a “War on Terror.” Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California was the sole vote against that resolution. She warned that the broad authorities granted by its Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) would be abused by the executive branch. Nearly twenty years later, Representative Lee’s concerns have tragically been validated, as the war authorizations passed in 2001 and 2002 have been used to justify military action from North Africa to the Philippines, far beyond what the authorities for which the AUMF was intended. 

On today’s episode of None Of The Above, Institute for Global Affairs senior fellow Mark Hannah is joined by Representative Lee to discuss the legacy of these authorizations. They discuss Lee’s 20-year fight, and her transformation from a lone voice of dissent to a leader of what is now a bipartisan movement to restore Congressional war authorities. Will the Biden administration follow through on its promise to respect Congress’s constitutional role? And, might the “forever wars” which have been fought across the globe for nearly two decades finally come to an end?

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This podcast episode includes references to the Eurasia Group Foundation, now known as the Institute for Global Affairs.

This post is part of None Of The Above, a podcast of IGA hosted by senior fellow Mark Hannah.

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