The 800 lb. gorilla in the room, meaning in Congress is the 2002 AUMF, Authorization for Military Force. That was 18+ years ago and since that time warfare has changed. No longer will we see convention forces take the battlefield that looks that of Ramadi, North Korea or driving the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.
Modern warfare is best described today by the doctrine developed by Russian General Valery Gerasimov. This site has published several items on Gerasimov in recent years where in summary his military paper lays out theories of modern warfare and the new rules. The strategies include politics, cyber, media, leaks, space, fake news, conventional, asymmetric a tactics of extortion and influence.
The United States does not want war but bad guys do and they often get it.
As long as the United States responds and remains defensive on all fronts, we are in a forever war and the bad guys multiply.
The adversaries of our nation watch us more than we watch ourselves, there are divisions, departments, teams, units and various skill sets that are assigned and dedicated to all things United States all to pinpoint our weaknesses and fractures in our systems. They DO find them.
When third in the line of succession to the presidency, Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls President Trump and ‘insecure imposter’ and an ‘assassin’, it becomes one of many jumping off points for our adversaries to exploit. When the media calls Trump a liar, members of Congress use racist, unfit and unstable, the enemy takes delight.
So, taking out General Soleimani was long overdue and as for bad guys multiplying?
Enter the cyber trolls, the deep fakes, the false news stories, hacks, ransomware, espionage, theft, plants, drones, terrorists embedded with migrants, illicit transfer of goods including weapons, money and people generated by rogue nations.
So, while there is little debate about the AUMF, there is a past due need to update and define all lanes of modern warfare and for a full new unanimous vote on military force which does now include cyber and space.
When Speaker Pelosi announced last week ‘NO WAR’ and the House passed a non-binding resolution to limit President Trump’s war powers against Iran, you can bet Russia was listening as were North Korea, Syria, China and even Iran.
This is a pre-911 mentality regarding foreign policy, United States doctrine and national security. Such was the case several days ago when Iran launched their cyber operation to begin brute force attacks against several targets inside the United States. The Department of Homeland Security’s CISA division (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) sent out several advanced warnings nationally for state and local governments as well as private business and corporations to be on the ready and harden systems with robust firewalls. They are asked for information regarding intrusions and attacks, Well, Texas Governor Abbot did respond. A few Texas state systems were the victims of of brute force cyber hits. The extent of that action appears to be rather minimal but no computer system network ever wants to reveal the damage such that it would or could invite more resulting in more ransomware.
Noted in the Gerasimov Doctrine, hard and soft power across many domains, past and over any boundaries, Russia collaborating with China, Iran and North Korea counter-balance conventional warfare with hybrid tactics and it is cheaper and often missed by experts and media until the real damage is noted.
Congress has held many hearings on what is an act of war against the United States and yet, here we are with a tired and outdated AUMF that does not address gray zone operations. Just ask Ukraine, East Europe and Crimea how Russia was successful in applying hybrid warfare tactics. Maybe we should just rename the Gerasimov Doctrine civilian military operations, perhaps the Democrats and Pelosi would better understand the burdens of the Commander in Chief and that of the Secretary of Defense along with the intelligence agencies. It is an ugly world.