Things are heating up in washington as campaign season approaches, and the President suddenly realizes that this time two years from now his new address could be in Chicago somewhere. It seems the election he thought he had in the bag, might not be such a sure thing after all. His own party, it seems, is challenging the authority of his administration. The message is clear, “No Mr. President we will not take another dive for you”.
Consider if you will the war effort in Afghanistan and Libya. The president is looking for a way out of Afghanistan, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff are not so swift on a quick exit. Then there is the Libyan situation where members of his own Party and his own staff are challenging him on the 1973 War Powers Act.
Lets begin then with the War Powers Act. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), announced Wednesday that they are suing Obama in federal court over the constitutionality of leading the U.S. into war with Libya without seeking Congressional approval. Specifically, according to the Huffington Post, the lawsuit challenges the executive branch’s circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations — namely the united Nations and North Atlantic Treaty Organization— to authorise U.S. military force abroad.
“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated.” Kucinich said in a statement. “We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies.”
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also warned the president Tuesday that he may be in violation of the War Powers Act by Sunday if does not seek congressional authorization to continue operations in Libya. Sunday marks 90 days since U.S. forces first struck Libyan targets as part of the NATO-led effort to take out leader Muammar Gaddafi.
According to the War Powers Resolution, a president who commits troops to war must explain the legal reasoning for doing so within 60 days. That period can be extended to 90 days if the president requests more time from Congress, which the President did not do. By the 90 day mark the president is required to obtain congressional approval for action. To this date the president has not sought such approval and maintains it is not necessary given that military action is expected to be limited in scope and duration.
An administration official told Huffington Post on Wednesday that the administration plans on sending an extensive report that makes the case for involvement in Libya without the need for Congressional approval.
That is only part of the Presidents woes.
The President also wants to begin the process of getting American troops out of Afghanistan, an increasingly unpopular conflict in the Mid-East. It seems that this situation is slowly becoming the new Mid-East Viet Nam. Bogged down in the middle of no where, losing troops left and right, and as time goes on, no way out other than a fast exit!
Well, all we had to ever do was study the Russian effort in Afghanistan to realize that Afghanistan is a no win situation, of a population broken down in tribal conflict. While there be some symbolic concept of government at its national level, tribal clout rules in the desert wilderness. It is there that our troops are being picked off like flies.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff are not in favor of a fast exit. But the President who needs points in order to boost his polls has made a promise to get out of there as soon as he can. Now, June – July was his self-imposed deadline.
Looking at the over all mid-east situation, it seems to me that much of this is a no brainer. First I am thinking that the President should seriously consider the legal aspects of the War Powers Act and consider the advise that White House Counsel is giving. The majority of legal minds are saying there are serious legal issues here and that the president should request continued action against Libya. However, the President having decided to challenge this matter in Federal Courts, when legal scholars are saying he is standing on weak ground, causes me to ponder and ask what his motives are.
I would agree on a quick exit from Afghanistan, even better, I was opposed to our re-entry in the first place. Even President Bush knew that the Afghanistan situation was a waste of valuable resources in the overall Mid-East situation. He began a gradual phasing out of Afghanistan, with more attention to Iraq.
Over all the situation is going to prove an interesting challenge to this administration bogged down in a persistent and ongoing Mid-East conflict.
It is sure to play a major role in the up-coming elections. That is why it is so important for President Obama to hold his cards close to his chest and play his game very carefully. The stakes are too high for arrogance and stupid mistakes.
That’s my point of view. What do you think. I look forward to hearing your point of view.
Meanwhile, have a great day and as usual…….. God Bless America!
Media resources: The Huffington Post, The New York Post, and Associated Press.