The Washington Post Editorial Board has offered some stern advice to President Obama. They note that even if the president could get away with unilateral action, “the Constitution grants Congress the exclusive right to declare war.” While the President may claim authority to act, “the legal authorities his administration has informally cited are slender indeed — slimmer, even, than the U.N. Security Council resolution upon which the Libya mission rested.”
The editorial (well worth reading) ends with an interesting paragraph:
Mr. Obama must know that Congress will engage more deeply on Syria sooner or later. Even a short, sharp strike such as the one he reportedly contemplates is unlikely to be the last act in this drama. Nor, in our view, should it be. Unless linked to a broader strategy for weakening the Assad regime — and forcing it either out of power or into real negotiations — the use of force might prove worse than useless. Mr. Obama can and should formulate a sustainable strategy and then make a convincing case for it to the American people and their elected representatives.
All of this sounds like the Editorial Board supports regime change but fears that the president’s current course will lead him to both exceed the bounds of his authority while doing something that will prove little more than symbolic. I have yet to hear a convincing argument connecting intervention in Syria and US national interest. I wish that the Washington Post would have (could have?) made explicit its argument on this critical point.
Can any Pileus readers make the argument that an attack on Syria would be in our national interest?