White House says expired War Powers timetable irrelevant to ISIS campaign

The Guardian reports: The White House on Wednesday said a timetable that expired over a week ago limiting its ability to continue a war unauthorized by Congress does not apply to the operation against the Islamic State (Isis) militant group.

The 1973 War Powers Resolution holds that presidents have a 60-day window to conduct hostilities without an act of Congress blessing the conflict. Absent such an explicit authorization, wars are supposed to lose their legal force.

The White House repeatedly cited the War Powers Resolution throughout the summer, as it notified Congress about troop deployments and airstrikes that inaugurated the war. Initial troop deployments for the war began in mid-June, although some legal scholars doubted that the ostensibly non-combat deployments started the clock.

7 October marked 60 days after US warplanes began bombing Isis positions in Iraq. The newest war – officially christened Operation Inherent Resolve by the US military on Wednesday – now includes attacks on Isis targets in Syria and is expected to last for years.

But according to the White House, a pair of 2001 and 2002 congressional resolutions, known as Authorizations to Use Military Force (AUMF), satisfy the War Powers Resolution’s requirement for a “specific authorization” from the US legislature.

“Because the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs constitute specific authorization within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution, the War Powers Resolution’s 60-day limitation on operations does not apply here,” said Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the National Security Council. [Continue reading…]

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