US Emperor and His War

Congress is busilly discussing whether to invoke War Powers law after 60 (90) day limit and stop Obama’s adventure in Libya. But this article claims that all those lawyers in Congress have it wrong: War Powers’ 60/90 limit does not apply because Libya did not attach US. Read on:

“Right up front in the WPR is a provision titled “Presidential executive power as commander-in-chief; limitation,” which is very clear:

The constitutional powers of the president as commander in chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only [author’s emphasis] pursuant to:

(1) a declaration of war,

(2) specific statutory authorization, or

(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

Thus, since the 60/90-day sunset period only applies when no prior congressional declaration of war or statutory authorization for U.S. participation in a conflict has been passed, it must apply only when there has been an attack on the United States or its armed forces.

It is clear that the framers and Congress, respectively, wanted congressional approval of military action even under conditions of limited violence. For example, the WPR applies “to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances….” It then defines “introduction of United States Armed Forces” to include “the assignment of members of such armed forces to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany the regular or irregular military forces of any foreign country or government when such military forces are engaged, or there exists an imminent threat that such forces will become engaged, in hostilities.” In Libya, even in their reduced supporting role, U.S. forces are clearly coordinating with and accompanying the forces of NATO allies in violation of the WPR.”

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  1. Thanks for spending time on the coumpetr (writing) so others don’t have to.




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