Showing posts with label AUMF. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AUMF. Show all posts

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Congressional authorization to whack ISIS

Does Obama need it?  Or does the 10 year old Authorization for the Used of Military Force (AUMF) that George Bush obtained to overthrow Saddam Hussein  cover zapping ISIS in 2014.  Who knows?  Call in the lawyers and let them quibble. 
  Let's get real about the issue here.   Obama is commander in chief, the armed forces will do what he orders them to.  So Obama can order up air strikes, or anything else, and it will happen. 
   On the other hand,  any president with two brain cells firing, wants to go to war, or something less than war, with Congressional, political and media support.  Obama has already gotten funding for the anti ISIS effort into the "continuing resolution" a stop gap bill to fund the entire US government at least thru the new year.  That's not too shabby for Obama.  That will keep the bombs falling for a while. 
   If Obama isn't very serious about ISIS, and will settle for a few fireworks shows, no ground troops, that's probably all he needs.   If he actually wants to zap ISIS into the next dimension, he probably wants to have a brand new  AUMF that specifically names ISIS as the enemy. 
   To my way of thinking, there are only two reasons for NOT going to Congress for a new AUMF.  One, Obama fears that Congress would vote it down, making him look weaker than he already looks.  Two, Obama isn't really serious about ISIS, and doesn't actually plan on serious operations to wipe them out.  Take your pick.

Friday, September 13, 2013

So what is Putin trying to do?

Two weeks ago,  Obama was about to take a big hit when Congress rejected his call for Authorization for the Use of Military Force,  21st century jargon meaning declaration of war.  Then, in response to an unplanned remark by John Kerry at a news conference in Europe, Putin jumps up and sells a face saving compromise to the world.  Syria will turn its chemical weapons over to a neutral party and the US won't do missile or air strikes on Syria.  The Americans love the idea, the Administration loves the idea 'cause now they don't have to suffer Congressional defeat, Congress loves it because they don't have to be mean to Obama, the voters love it because they never wanted to get mixed up in Syria at all.  Talk about a win-win.  Everybody in America wins.
   What's in it for Putin?  Sure,  he gets a lot of favorable publicity, and gets to write an Op-Ed in the NY Times,  but  all this is kinda light weight stuff.  Old Joe Stalin would not have been impressed unless the deal brought more land under Russian sovereignty,  more countries into the Soviet block, or destroyed enemy armies in battle.  I don't see that happening here. 
  I think Putin would have done better to leave Obama hoist by his own petard (big mouth).  Had Putin done nothing, Congress would have voted down (or trash canned) the authorization for the use of military force.  That's a big hit.  Obama would have either backed off on Syria, or pressed on without Congressional approval, neither of which would have come out well for Obama.
   Far as I can see, Putin bailed Obama out of a deep deep hole.
   I wonder why.