08.08.14

Wall Street Journal: Congress Accepts Obama Action on Iraq – For Now

Siobhan Hughes reports on President Obama's air strikes in Iraq.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize air strikes in northern Iraq triggered few complaints he acted without congressional consent — a surprising acquiescence lawmakers made clear could change abruptly change if the mission expands.

 “Depending on how much further the administration wants to go beyond the authorized mission and beyond protection of personnel, he may be required to come to Congress to seek an authorization,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who supports Mr. Obama’s decision to launch the current round of air strikes.

“It’s unlikely to be an isolated set of airs strikes” because the Islamic State “isn’t going away and the risk in the near-term is still going to be very profound,” Mr. Schiff said.

The 1973 War Powers Resolution limits the power of the president to authorize military action without congressional approval. The law calls for U.S. forces to withdraw within 60 to 90 days from their introduction into hostilities if Congress hasn’t authorized U.S. action and has been an ongoing point of dispute between the legislative and executive branches, including during the Obama administration.

Mr. Schiff said the U.S. might need to do more to support the Kurds. He proposed providing arms if the Iraqi government withheld weapons and other military supplies, and supporting the direct sale of Kurdish oil if the Iraqi government withheld financial support. He said that current U.S. policy created legal impediments to the direct sale of Kurdish oil.

“We have a real partner in the Kurds – they’re a reliable ally,” he said. “They may be the only truly reliable partner we have in the region.”

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By:  Siobhan Hughes
Source: Wall Street Journal