America’s “Long War”: Pentagon tells US Senate Wars will Continue for Decades

Testifying before the US Senate Committee on Armed Services on Thursday, Pentagon officials claimed that “war on terror” legislation gives them sweeping powers to wage war anywhere in the world, including inside the United States, without Congressional authorization.

Assistant Defense Secretary Michael Sheehan argued that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed by Congress after the September 11 attacks, constituted effective Congressional authorization for future wars waged under the rubric of the “war on terror.” In his view, the Pentagon can continue its global campaign of drone assassination strikes and launch further wars under the heading of the “war on terror,” without renewed authorization from Congress.

“At this point, we’re comfortable with the AUMF as it is currently structured,” Sheehan said. “Right now … it serves its purpose.”

Sheehan made clear that he believed that this authorization of war extended into the indefinite future. He said, “In my judgment, this is going to go on for quite a while, yes, beyond the second term of the president … I think it’s at least 10 to 20 years.”....