The Washington Post reports:
The White House has officially declared that what’s happening in Libya is not “hostilities.”
But at the Pentagon, officials have decided it’s unsafe enough there to give troops extra pay for serving in “imminent danger.”
The Defense Department decided in April to pay an extra $225 a month in “imminent danger pay” to service members who fly planes over Libya or serve on ships within 110 nautical miles of its shores.
That means the Pentagon has decided that troops in those places are “subject to the threat of physical harm or imminent danger because of civil insurrection, civil war, terrorism or wartime conditions.” There are no U.S. ground troops in Libya.
President Obama declared last week that the three-month-old Libyan campaign should not be considered “hostilities.” That word is important, because it’s used in the 1973 War Powers Resolution: Presidents must obtain congressional authorization within a certain period after sending U.S. forces “into hostilities.”
Obama’s reasoning was that he did not need that authorization because U.S. forces were playing a largely supportive and logistical role, and because Libyan defenses are so battered they pose little danger. U.S. drones are still carrying out some strikes against Libyan targets.