Last fall, during the debate on airstrikes in Syria, commentators argued that the United States needed to act in order to preserve the credibility of American threats. If the “red line” that President Obama announced a year earlier wasn’t enforced, the argument went, dictators would be able to act with impunity.
Latest in War Powers Resolution: Libya
Thoughts About the Obama Administration’s Counterterrorism Paradigm in Light of the Al-Liby and Ikrima Operations
Mary DeRosa and Marty Lederman, both of whom were senior national security lawyers in the Obama administration, have a helpful if somewhat hopeful post at Just Security on the significance of the recent al-Liby and Ikrima capture operations. The post is long, but I would summarize it as follows (this is my summary, not theirs):
How Administration Lawyers Are Probably Thinking About the Constitutionality of the Syria Intervention (And A Note on the Domestic Political Dangers of Intervention)
President Obama famously said in 2008 that the President lacks “power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” That sentiment as presidential candidate did not stop him as President from intervening in Libya. But the Libya intervention at least found support in a U.N.
A common assumption in the debate about the appropriate legal regime for extra-AUMF threats is that the AUMF is cabined and cannot be extended to newly threatening Islamist terrorist threats. Yesterday’s SASC hearing exploded this assumption. The hearing made clear that the Obama administration’s long insistence that it is deeply legally restrained under the AUMF is misleading and at a minimum requires much more extensive scrutiny. It also made clear that the SASC’s oversight of the basic legal regime for DOD op
What is the United States actually doing so far, and what else reportedly is on the table?
1. So far we have agreed to provide airlift support to the French, on their dime. That is, France is going to pay the United States some $20 million in exchange for the services of C-17s (and possibly also C-5s) that will bear French troops and equipment (armored vehicles, for example) into Mali.
Here is the White House's supplemental consolidated report regarding the deployment of U.S. armed forces. The report is addressed to the Speaker of the House, and was---in the President's words---"prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution."
An important predicate for the legal and political justification for the U.S.
Peter Margulies's reporting on AALS panels continues with this dispatch:
Libya and Presidential Power
In my haste to survey the NSL-related panels at this week's AALS Annual Meeting, I missed one of the "Hot Topics" sessions--a plenary discussion of "Political Crises and Constitutionalism: War," with a special focus on the use of force and/in Libya...
With the next semester quickly approaching, I'm going through the annual struggle to decide just how much I want to cover current (national security) events in my first-year Constitutional Law course.