Bush-era war authorizations do not give President Obama authority to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Army officer argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against Obama.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court by an intelligence officer stationed in Kuwait who says he supports the fight against ISIS but believes it is being carried out illegally because Congress hasn’t specifically authorized it.
“How could I honor my oath when I am fighting a war, even a good war, that the Constitution does not allow, or Congress has not approved?” Capt. Nathan Michael Smith wrote. “To honor my oath, I am asking the court to tell the president that he must get proper authority from Congress, under the War Powers Resolution, to wage the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”
Obama has sought an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) from Congress. But Congress has been hesitant to take it up, with Republicans worried it would be too restrictive and some Democrats worried it wouldn’t be restrictive enough.
In the absence of a new AUMF, Obama has said he has the authority to fight ISIS from the 2001 authorization to fight al Qaeda, from which ISIS originated. (Read more from “An Army Captain Is Suing Obama for This Major Reason” HERE)