Latest in War Powers Resolution: Syria


The ISIS Expulsion and the AUMF

Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller report in the WP that Al-Qaeda’s recent expulsion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has raised questions about whether the AUMF “still applies” to ISIS.  “According to some administration lawyers and intelligence officials,” they report, “the expulsion of ISIS removes the group from the short list of al-Qaeda ‘associates’ that the presi

Jus ad Bellum/UN Charter/Sovereignty

War Powers, Red Lines, and Credibility

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.

AUMF: Scope and Reach

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):

AUMF: Syria

The Most Puzzling Line of the President's Speech

The most puzzling line in the President’s strange speech last night was this:

[E]ven though I possess the authority to order military strikes, I believed it was right, in the absence of a direct or imminent threat to our security, to take this debate to Congress.  I believe our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress.  And I believe that America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together.

International Law

War Powers, Syria, and Non-Judicial Precedent

One claim that is being made about President Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for military action in Syria is that it is likely to weaken the authority of the presidency with respect to the use of force.  Peter Spiro contends, for example, that Obama’s action is “a watershed in the modern history of war power” that may end up making congressional pre-authorization a necessary condition for even small-scale military operations.

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