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.
Latest in War Powers Resolution: Syria
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?
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
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.
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):
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.
Lawfare-ers have been quite prolific in the debate over U.S. intervention in Syria. We thus have updated our compilation of the blog's Syria coverage.
You can find all of our posts on Syria below, with the most recent posts at the top.
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.
As long as we are covering the waterfront when it comes to the legal questions raised by the prospect of using force in Syria, we should say something about the role of the War Powers Resolution. After all, a group of 97 GOP House members, joined by 18 Democrats, yesterday sent a letter to