Thursday, June 16, 2011

White House says Libya war is legal

US President Barack Obama

Source: Press TV

US President Barack Obama's administration has defended the military operation in Libya, saying it does not need any authorization from Congress.

The administration plans to send a 30-page report to Congress that is meant to explain how the US only has a limited role in the NATO-led military campaign and that thus Obama is acting within his constitutional right to direct the mission on his own, AP reported on Wednesday.

The report was prepared as a reply to lawmakers who have been criticizing Obama over the Libya war.

“The Constitution requires the president to 'take care that the laws be faithfully executed,' and one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation,” US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said in a letter on Tuesday.

“It would appear that in five days, the administration will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorization from Congress or withdraws all US troops and resources from the mission (in Libya),” he added.

However, the State Department legal advisor Harold Koh disagreed.

"We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped, or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of 'hostilities' envisioned by the War Powers Resolution,” Koh said on Wednesday.

The White House's report to Congress will explain how the US only provides NATO with logistical support, intelligence, and reconnaissance work.

However, a report by the Pentagon entitled the “United States Contribution to Operation Unified Protector” stated that the US is the biggest contributor to the war and that it conducts nearly 27 percent of the airstrikes.

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