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Wednesday, 13 September 2017 13:41

Rand Paul's risky attempt to repeal authorization for military action against al Qaeda

Written by  Tom Rogan

Senators voted 61-36 on Wednesday to reject an amendment introduced by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., to repeal the congressional authorizations that sent United States forces into action against al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Paul's amendment would have meant that congressional authority for the war on terror would expire in 6 months.

Paul's amendment wasn't all bad, but ultimately, its defeat is a good thing.

For a start, I disagree with Paul's limited view of the president's inherent legal authority to use force. As I noted in June, "I'm convinced the president has significant latitude to conduct short term or short notice military operations absent congressional authority." While Supreme Court precedent suggests that presidential authority is secure here, it is of paramount importance that the commander-in-chief be able to command effectively and efficiently.

I also disagree with Paul's limited assessment of the existing authorization of military force against al Qaeda. Speaking on MSNBC Tuesday evening, Paul argued that, "It's intellectually dishonest to say that when we voted to go to war on [Sept. 11] that that has anything to do with the war in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan."

On the contrary, the Sept. 11 force authorization clearly states that the president "is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations.

Read more at The Washington Examiner

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