Obama needs no U.N. approval to order airstrikes in Syria, ambassador says

Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, says that the Obama administration needs no U.N. approval in order to airstrikes in Syria.

Valerie Richardson of The Washington Times reports that Samantha Power said on ABC’s “This Week”, “Consistent with the U.N. charter, we — it will depend on the facts and circumstances of any particular strike in Syria, but we have a legal basis we need”.

But what legal basis?

The U.S. Constitution says that we must be at war with the nation for the United States to take military action.  This would include air strikes against military forces within the country.  The U.N. doesn’t even enter the picture.

Unfortunately, that military force at stake, the IVIV army group, is a renegade armed force not connected with Syria’s government but located within the country.

President Assad of Syria will not comment except that he will have any planes from foreign nations attacking his country shot down.  That suggests that he will not tolerate air attacks on IVIV forces situated there.

Would the War Power Resolution apply?  It would require that if President Obama order air attacks without congressional approval, he would have to stop the actions and be out of Syria within 90 days.  But Obama has said he would be in the Syria for years, or until the IVIV force were destroyed.

One of the authors of this resolution, former Republican Congressman Paul Findley, told Politico frankly that “President Barack Obama does not have the authority to act without Congressional approval.”

Here’s Valerie Richardson with highlights from yesterday’s ABC’s “This week”.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that the Obama administration has a legal basis to conduct airstrikes in Syria without U.N. approval, raising questions about the White House’s ability to form an international front against the Islamic State.

“Consistent with the U.N. charter, we — it will depend on the facts and circumstances of any particular strike in Syria, but we have a legal basis we need,” Samantha Power said on ABC’s “This Week.”

No country has agreed publicly to join the United States in launching airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State targets, and the Syrian government itself has refused to authorize outside strikes on its territory even against Islamist rebel groups that it is fighting itself.

But Ms. Power predicted Sunday to host George Stephanopoulos that U.S. forces would not act alone in an air campaign.


Valerie Richardson
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