While Congressional leadership may be hesitant to take up a vote authorizing the president to use military force in Iraq and/or Syria against ISIS in the coming weeks, we've seen several different authorizations put into play---with different requirements, and by different members of Congress.
Latest in War Powers Resolution: Syria
Yesterday the President sent his seventh Iraq-related War Powers Resolution (WPR) letter since June, and the fourth in about a month. The new letter concerns U.S.
Mention of politics, war powers, and legislative authorization to use further force in Iraq, reminds me: whatever happened with the War Powers Consultation Act of 2014 (“WPCA”), put forth by Senators Kaine, McCain, and King?
Not much, it seems.
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.
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.
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):
These two operations exemplify the approach to counterterrorism that the President emphasized in his http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press
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.
This is especially true
Lawfare-ers have been quite prolific in the debate over U.S. intervention in Syria.
I recently posted my new paper on The Constitutional Power to Threaten War (forthcoming, Yale Law Journal). The basic idea is that existing debate and legal scholarship about constitutional war powers focuses overwhelmingly on the President's and Congress’s share of power to initiate military engagements.
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.