Debate: Has The President Exceeded His War Powers Authority?

By NPR Staff

April 7, 2015 NPR - President Obama has launched a sustained, long-term military campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. But did he have constitutional power to do so?

Article I of the Constitution gives some war powers to the Congress — namely, the power to declare war — while Article II gives the president the power of commander-in-chief. But the U.S. Congress has not declared war since World War II, even as the nation has engaged in numerous military actions across the globe in the intervening decades.

Obama contends that U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen, bombing in Libya and airstrikes on ISIS do not require a declaration of war. Proponents of his position argue that an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, passed by Congress in 2001, empowers the president to use deadly force against ISIS today.

Read more and listen to Professor Deborah Pearlstein debate on NPR. 

Read more about Professor Deborah Pearlstein's participation in the debate in The Washington Post.