Pentagon denies Mattis wanted congress backed Syria strike

20 April, 2018, 01:40 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Pentagon denies Mattis wanted congress backed Syria strike

Congress passed the current legal authority immediately following the attacks on September 11, 2001, and has not updated it since.

The administration contends that Trump had the authority to carry out the strikes under Article II of the Constitution, which allows the president to use military force to protect the national interest from immediate threats.

Under US law, only Congress has the right to authorise war. "Instead of further endorsing perpetual war, we need to insist on an AUMF that is narrow, clearly defined, and respects Congress's constitutional duty to debate and authorize military action".

Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, signed a letter with almost 100 House members, Republicans and Democrats, that made the same point.

His remarks virtually ensured a response to the alleged chemical attack, even though many USA lawmakers have expressed reservations over further military engagement in Syria unless Trump can articulate a long-term strategy for the country.

Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican and former Air Force major, said in limited circumstances the president has the authority to call for airstrikes, but that extends only so far.

It would also require the president to report to Congress on all new designated associated forces and each new country in which the United States is using military force under the AUMFs.

Or, as Defense News puts it, "the proposed bill would cover all terrorist groups the now fighting, and it would not restrict the president from taking immediate action against enemies in other global hot spots". "That's not a strategy at all", Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Trump wanted a rapid response that would correlate well with his strong tweets about Syria earlier in the week, the Times reports.

"It was clear the military had tight constraints on the operation, and that everybody in the military seemed to know that except the president". President Obama in 2013 asked Congress for action against the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons - but lawmakers did not bring the issue to a vote.

"The response, deliberated meticulously with global partners and carried out with their backing and participation", Hatch said in a statement, "reflects the president's commitment to restoring America's leadership in bringing Assad and his backers to justice".



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