Saturday, July 2, 2011

Another Obama Conflict That Apparently Is Not A War Even Though The Military Is Involved And Weapons Are Being Used

Remember "Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?"  Apparently President Obama wants the kids to play "Where in the World Will the Next Drone Attack Occur?"  Those playing along have learned about Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and now Somalia.

The New York Times reports that the United States is conducting military operations in Somalia. 
The clandestine American military campaign to combat Al Qaeda’s franchise in Yemen is expanding to fight the Islamist militancy in Somalia, as new evidence indicates that insurgents in the two countries are forging closer ties and possibly plotting attacks against the United States, American officials say.

An American military drone aircraft attacked several Somalis in the militant group the Shabab late last month, the officials said, killing at least one of its midlevel operatives and wounding others.

The strike was carried out by the same Special Operations Command unit now battling militants in Yemen, and it represented an intensification of an American military campaign in a mostly lawless region where weak governments have allowed groups with links to Al Qaeda to flourish.
I'm all for students learning geography, but I also want them to learn that the President doesn't have unlimited war making powers, even if that is not a view that the President shares.  According to CNN,
Administration officials have repeatedly asserted that the U.S. role in Libya does not meet the law's definition of hostilities. The president reportedly overruled contrary legal opinions put forward by both the Pentagon and the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in declining to seek congressional authorization.

Earlier Tuesday, top State Department legal adviser Harold Koh told members of the committee that the War Powers law does not apply to the U.S. military intervention.

Koh argued that the measure is not applicable because the U.S. role in the mission is limited in terms of its scope, means, exposure of U.S. forces, and chances of escalation.
The limited "chances of escalation" must apply only within Libya because the amorphous "War on Terrorism" seems to be expanding everywhere.

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