The declaration, which has to be reissued each year, invokes several war-time powers that give the president greater control of the military. Obama cited the continuing threat of a terrorist attack in justifying his decision to continue the now 11-year national emergency.
“The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2012, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat,” Obama said September 11.
Despite the winding-down of the war in Afghanistan – originally launched in 2001 in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks – Obama has again granted himself special war-time powers by declaring that a national emergency still exists because of the attacks of 11 years ago.
Under federal law, a national emergency declaration lasts for only one year, meaning that the 9/11 national emergency has now been re-declared 10 times.
The powers re-invoked by President Obama all relate to the military and include the ability to suspend retirements and separations of military personnel, recall the Ready Reserve, activate recently-retired Coast Guard officers and personnel, and prohibit or regulate financial transactions with foreign entities involved in terrorism.