Obama Confirms Libya War to Continue – But Will He Ever Ask Congress?

With No Authorization Sought, Officials Mull Ways to Skirt Legal Requirements

Following a White House meeting today with NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, President Obama confirmed that the US would continue with the war in Libya going forward, providing no timeline for it to end.

The confirmation sounds pretty final, but the legal basis for the war in the United States is about to become far more dubious than it already was. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 sets a 60 day limit for wars that weren’t authorized. This would require President Obama to end the war next Friday.

Which he has no intention of doing. Indeed, legal advisers are said to be discussing loopholes which would allow them to circumvent the resolution and continue the war in an open-ended manner. Among the ideas is that NATO will stop the entire war on Friday for a few minutes, then start it back up, giving the president, somehow, another 60 days.

Mostly Congress doesn’t appear to care if the president flaunts this rule, but suggestions from people like Sen. Richard Lugar (R – IN) that he really should ask Congress about the war at some point suggest he might actually ask at some point. Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) insisted that the requirement that the president ask about the war was unconstitutional at any rate, and expressed his support for continuing the bombing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.