U.S. House members propose change to rules of war

May 31, 2013 at 9:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 31 (UPI) -- Some members of the U.S. House are proposing a change to the way so-called associated forces with cursory ties to al-Qaida are targeted, officials said.

The lawmakers drafted a change to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorism, The Hill reported Thursday.

The proposal is to be considered by the House Armed Services Committee next week, sources told The Hill.

In a counter-terrorism speech at the National Defense University last week, President Barack Obama said the 12-year-old rules of war need to be changed.

"Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises. That's what our democracy demands," Obama said.

Under the current rules of war, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have the power to determine which associated forces can and can't be targeted in "kill/capture" missions, The Hill said.

Michael Sheehan, head of special operations and low-intensity conflicts at the Pentagon, told the Senate Armed Services Committee before Obama's speech there was no need to change the rules of war.

"At this point we're comfortable with the AUMF as it is currently structured. Right now it does not inhibit us from prosecuting the war against al-Qaida and its affiliates," he said.

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