09.23.14

Washington Post: In Syria, Obama stretches legal and policy constraints he created for counterterrorism

Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung of the Washington Post report on military authorization:

After spending nearly six years of his presidency installing a series of constraints on U.S. counterterrorism operations, President Obama has launched a broad military offensive against Islamist groups in Syria that stretches the limits of those legal and policy enclosures.

The barrage of airstrikes was aimed mainly at a militant group, the Islamic State, that is no longer among the al-Qaeda “associates” envisioned by the military authorization passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The group is not even suspected of planning attacks against the United States.

In the House, a bill introduced by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) would repeal the Iraq AUMF. It would pass a new authorization narrowly allowing action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and sunset that measure, along with the 2001 authorization, after 18 months.

By relying on the 2001 al-Qaeda authorization, Schiff said in an interview, the administration is “putting the best legal arguments on a very weak case.” They “would probably like a new authorization that repeals the old ones and sets out a new authority,” he said, “but I’m not sure they’re confident it can be done in such a dysfunctional Congress.”

To read the full article, please click here.


By:  Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung
Source: Washington Post