Only the best of leaders dare to reduce the powers of their office or government. I applaud the effort in the strongest terms. Please support these changes with your own Congressman or Senator.
While Obama would not declare an end to the war on terrorism, Obama offered to work with Congress to constrain some of his own authorities for waging it, reflecting what he and aides described as a discomfort with permanent executive war powers. He said he was “open” to working with Congress to establish some additional mechanism to oversee the proper targeting of terrorists, such as a court modeled on the secretive one that oversees the surveillance of suspected foreign agents. He also expressed a preference to constrain “and ultimately repeal” the broad latitude of warmaking powers granted in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), the legislative wellspring of the war. “This is the moment to ask ourselves hard questions,” Obama said.
Over the past five years, Obama took a relatively limited program of drone strikes and expanded it to western Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. The CIA and the military built or expanded airfields in the Middle East and Africa capable of hosting the flying robots. As the administration became more comfortable with the drone strikes — which officials said, without providing evidence, killed few civilians — the CIA and the military began expanding their range of acceptable targets. What was once an effort to kill senior leaders of al-Qaida became a tool to kill low-ranking ones.