While there is generally widespread consensus that the Islamic State group must be confronted and defeated militarily, there nevertheless remains an intense debate regarding exactly how the U.S. should go about doing so legally.
Some, including President Barack Obama’s administration, believe they already have the legal authority to wage war against the terror group, citing the post-9/11 authorizations for military force drawn up in 2001 and 2002 for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Others claim those authorizations don’t extend to the Islamic State group, as they are a separate entity having nothing to do with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and are demanding Congress provide a new authorization specific to the current threat.
According to The New York Times, Army Captain Nathan Michael Smith, a 28-year-old intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait, is one of those who believes Congress needs to specifically authorize a war against the Islamic State group, and he is taking the Obama administration to court to make that happen.
A 28-year-old Army captain is suing on President Obama over the war against ISIS https://t.co/JIbBAYF1Nv
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 5, 2016
“To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” Smith wrote in a complaint filed with the court.
The administration has thus far been relying on the 2001 authorization for the use of force against Al Qaeda and its affiliates, citing the fact that the Islamic State group was formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq and had ties to the main organization based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, formerly led by Osama bin Laden.
It has also suggested that its efforts against the Islamic State group could be covered under the 2002 authorization for force in Iraq, seeing as the group arose out of the still-ongoing chaos that followed the deposing of the dictator Hussein.
While the administration did request a new authorization from Congress to combat the Islamic State group, it was a vague request that Republican lawmakers have balked at, viewing it as a blank check that could be used for ulterior purposes by Obama.
Congress has instead specifically earmarked appropriated funds for fighting the terror organization, which has been viewed by many as an implicit authorization of force against the barbaric group.
Still, it would be nice if we could have a Congress and president on the same page when it comes to fighting the Islamic State group, with a carefully tailored use of force authorization backing up their efforts against any sort of judicial or international scrutiny.
H/T RedFlag News
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