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‘The President is authorised to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organisations, or persons he determines planned, authorised, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harboured such organisations or persons, in order to prevent any future act of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organisations or persons.’
Written in haste and passed by the US Congress in the days after 11 September 2001, the ambiguously worded Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) greatly expanded the war powers of the executive branch, granting US presidents the choice to bomb, raid, detain and monitor nation states and organisations around the world as they see fit. Centred around an interview with Representative Barbara Lee, the sole member of congress to vote against the AUMF, War Authority examines how the authorisation’s vague language – invoked at least 18 times by the former president George W Bush, and at least 19 times by President Barack Obama – has shaped modern US foreign policy and affected people around the world.
Director: Matthew Palmer
Technology and the self
Greetings from Green Bank – the small town where modern technology is banned
Dance and theatre
How a Noh mask-maker summons a lifelike face from a single block of wood
The ancient world
What wine vessels reveal about politics and luxury in ancient Athens and Persia
David Goldblatt captured the contradictions of apartheid in stark black and white
Thinkers and theories
Is simulation theory a way to shirk responsibility for the world we’ve created?
In Rwanda, Sébastien finds traces of personal history in the wake of national tragedy
Dance and theatre
Leaf through Shakespeare’s First Folio for a riveting journey into theatre history
Modern architecture should embrace – not ignore or repel – the nonhuman world
Nations and empires
The strange tale of how mangoes became hallowed objects in Maoist China