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|Army captain sues Obama over ISIS Fight
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Army captain sues Obama over ISIS Fight
Bush-era war authorizations do not give President Obama authority to fight the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Army officer argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court by an intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait
who says he supports the fight against ISIS but believes it is being carried out illegally
because Congress hasn’t specifically authorized it.
“How could I honor my oath when I am fighting a war, even a good war, that the
Constitution does not allow, or Congress has not approved?” Capt. Nathan Michael
Smith wrote. “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he
must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage
the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”
Obama has sought an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) from Congress.
But Congress has been hesitant to take it up, with Republicans worried it would be too
restrictive and some Democrats worried it wouldn’t be restrictive enough.
In the absence of a new AUMF, Obama has said he has the authority to fight ISIS
from the 2001 authorization to fight al Qaeda, from which ISIS originated.
The administration has also cited 2002 authorization for the Iraq War.
Late For Duty
Under Age Drinking
Failure to Report
Diagnostic APFT Failure
Low APFT Score Prior to WLC
Overweight Prior to WLC
Failure to Conduct Risk Assessment
Disobeying an Order
Drunk on Duty
Letter of Reprimand
Negligent Weapons Discharge
Improper Use of Prescription Drugs
Off Limits Areas
No Contact Order
Family Care Plan
Initial Counseling PVT-SPC
Loss Military Property
Lost Military ID Card
Bar To Reenlist
Government Travel Card
Initial Family Care Plan
Invalid Family Care Plan
NCO Quarterly Counseling
AWOL Letter Home
AWOL Point Paper
GT Score Improvement
Off Duty Employment
Good Job Counseling
Good Conduct Medal Not Approved
Failure to Follow the Chain of Command
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The issue arose anew in the past few weeks after Obama and the Pentagon
announced the deployment of another 217 troops to Iraq and 250 to Syria.
The lawsuit also comes a day after the third combat death of U.S. service member in
the fight against ISIS, which stoked the authorization issue.
The lawsuit hinges on the War Powers Resolution, a Vietnam War-era law that says the
president must get a war declaration or authorization from Congress within 60 days of
deploying troops or else withdraw within another 30 days.
“The President did not get Congress’s approval for his war against ISIS in Iraq or Syria
within the sixty days, but he also did not terminate the war,” the suit says. “The war is
The suit also says the 2001 measure does not apply because it authorized war against
those who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks, which ISIS did not.
The 2002 authorization does not apply, the suit adds, because the war that it
authorized has been declared over and because it does not cover Syria.
“In waging war against ISIS,” the lawsuit says, President Obama is misusing limited
congressional authorizations for the use of military force as a blank check to conduct a
war against enemies of his own choosing, without geographical/temporal boundaries.