On Sunday, the Obama administration will have made war in Libya for more than 90 days without authorization from Congress. This violates both the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution. The administration claims it does not violate the latter because the war in Libya is not actually a war for legal purposes. The non-war war argument is not going over well; even the New York Times editorial page says the administration’s case “borders on sophistry.”
Beyond the headlines and the political struggle, the administration’s efforts to expand the presidential power to start wars also shifts political authority from the U.S. Congress to the United Nations. For more on the problems of Obama’s radical moves in foreign policy, see my essay here.