The measure does not define critical terms -- for instance, what groups would be considered "associated forces." And it applies to U.S. citizens, who -- under the ambiguous and expansive terms of that measure -- could be detained by the military, on U.S. soil, until what the measure calls the "end of hostilities," which in the open-ended war on terror could mean forever. According to Obama administration spokesmen, the NDAA could be used to imprison war correspondents and other journalists who cover terrorism-related issues.
The NDAA has no parallel in American history. In fact, it is without precedent in the history of Anglo-Saxon law since the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. Perhaps the closest historical kindred to the NDAA would be Article 58 of the Soviet Criminal Code, which allowed for arrest and summary imprisonment of anyone suspected of working to undermine the Soviet state.