Conflict & Justice

Does the War Powers Resolution Apply to a US Attack on Syria?

Amid the many debates about whether President Obama should use force against Syria has been three words: War Powers Resolution. It was passed in 1973 (despite a veto by then President Nixon) and was designed to involve Congress in any decision to send American troops into hostilities.

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But the language of the law is open to interpretation, from what constitutes "hostilities" to what qualifies as an official notification of Congress.

Marco Werman talks over the many nuances of the War Powers Resolution and whether it applies to Syria with Bobby Chesney a law professor at University of Texas Law School and an editor of the blog Lawfare.

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    Local activists and Syrian-American supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hold up his image during an anti-war rally in front of a U.S. Armed Forces Recruiting Station in Times Square, New York August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTX1312I