George W. Bush photo

Statement on Signing the Authorization for Use of Military Force

September 18, 2001

Today I am signing Senate Joint Resolution 23, the "Authorization for Use of Military Force."

On September 11, 2001, terrorists committed treacherous and horrific acts of violence against innocent Americans and individuals from other countries. Civilized nations and people around the world have expressed outrage at, and have unequivocally condemned, these attacks. Those who plan, authorize, commit, or aid terrorist attacks against the United States and its interests—including those who harbor terrorists—threaten the national security of the United States. It is, therefore, necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to defend itself and protect United States citizens both at home and abroad.

In adopting this resolution in response to the latest terrorist acts committed against the United States and the continuing threat to the United States and its citizens from terrorist activities, both Houses of Congress have acted wisely, decisively, and in the finest traditions of our country. I thank the leadership of both Houses for their role in expeditiously passing this historic joint resolution. I have had the benefit of meaningful consultations with members of the Congress since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and I will continue to consult closely with them as our Nation responds to this threat to our peace and security.

Senate Joint Resolution 23 recognizes the seriousness of the terrorist threat to our Nation and the authority of the President under the Constitution to take action to deter and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States. In signing this resolution, I maintain the longstanding position of the executive branch regarding the President's constitutional authority to use force, including the Armed Forces of the United States and regarding the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution.

Our whole Nation is unalterably committed to a direct, forceful, and comprehensive response to these terrorist attacks and the scourge of terrorism directed against the United States and its interests.


The White House, September 18, 2001.

NOTE: S.J. Res. 23, approved September 18, was assigned Public Law No. 107-40.

George W. Bush, Statement on Signing the Authorization for Use of Military Force Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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