According to Ackerman’s coverage of the hearing, the Obama officials—whose arguments were “reminiscent of those made by Dick Cheney”—indicates the White House is inclined to support a reworking of the AUMF so long as it involves expanding the scope and a firmer codification of its increasingly ambiguous authority.

And when it comes to Schiff’s position on what the Obama administration may like to see, it becomes more unclear if either “repeal” or “reform” of the AUMF would really mean the end to the war in Afghanistan, the off-shore prison at Guatanamo, or the drone and targeted killing programs that are quickly spreading from Central Asia and the Middle East to regions of east and now west Africa.

As Ackerman reports, Schiff told Ackerman that if repeal was not possible he would “regrettably” support Congress passing a new and more limited AUMF that would comport with what the Obama administration’s demands for a newly conceived operation to conduct counter-terrorists military operations in numerous countries across the globe and against quasi-military forces that are not necessarily al-Qaeda.

In other words: new authorization, more war, better defined, and less restrictions.

“The administration is on its strongest constitutional footing when it acts in concert with Congress,” Schiff told Ackerman. And that may not be a good thing for those opposed to the permanent war against a nebulous, impossible to defeat enemy like “terrorism.”

If bi-partisan agreement is reached on the need to re-cast the AUMF for the decades ahead, the next question is the same as the current one: Will America’s endless war ever end?

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