Statement: 20 Years On, It’s Time to Repeal — Not Replace — the 2001 AUMF

AUMF Poster

WASHINGTON — Win Without War Policy Director Kate Kizer released the following statement regarding the 20th anniversary of the enactment of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) this Saturday September 18:

“20 years ago, President Bush signed the 2001 AUMF into law. In the stroke of a pen, the era of global endless wars began. Two decades later, as we come full circle with the U.S. failure in Afghanistan, we now know definitively what only a few were brave enough to say at the time: war was never the answer.

After 20 years of fruitless destruction, and with the official end of the war this law authorized, it’s never been more urgent to take the 2001 AUMF off the books.

“At the time of the 2001 AUMF’s passage, only one member of Congress, Rep. Barbara Lee, had the foresight and courage to understand what would become of a war authorization with few specifics, fewer constraints, and no time limits. Rep. Lee predicted that the 2001 AUMF would become a blank check for global, endless war. She was right.

“The lesson of the war in Afghanistan is clear: we cannot bomb our way to peace. The United States’ safety depends on building security for all people around the world, not simply on the might of our military. If we have truly learned this lesson, we must end the endless war approach not only in Afghanistan, but everywhere. And that means repealing the blank check that enables it.

“On this anniversary, we urge Congress and the Biden administration to act swiftly to repeal — and not replace — the 2001 AUMF as well as its counterpart, the 2002 AUMF, and call for a full reckoning with the tragic costs and failed strategies of the last two decades of global warfare.”


Win Without War is a diverse network of activists and national organizations working for progressive foreign policy in the United States.