Letter from the President — Supplemental 6-month War Powers Letter

Dated and posted December 5, 2016.

The letter is to the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. It opens with the following:

“I am providing this supplemental consolidated report, prepared by my Administration and consistent with the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), as part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed about deployments of U.S. Armed Forces equipped for combat.”

[A brief aside: The War Powers Resolution cited above was enacted by the 93rd Congress in over President Nixon’s veto November 7, 1973. Although, I have not yet fully read this Library of Congress guide to the War Powers Resolution, it appears to be a very useful document to help in understanding how presidents since 1973 have used the authority to deploy troops in conflicts around the world.]

The body of the letter is titled “MILITARY OPERATIONS IN SUPPORT OF U.S. COUNTERTERRORISM OBJECTIVES”. In some detail, paragraphs following cover military operations with regard to fighting Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Associated Forces. Individual countries, each with a paragraph or more describing activities there, are: Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, Turkey, Somalia, Yemen, Djibouti, Libya, Cuba, Niger, Cameroon, Egypt, South Sudan, Kosovo.

In the final paragraph of the letter, President Obama cites Public Law 107-40 Authorization for Use of Military Force enacted September 18, 2001. It is very brief, but the key provision is:

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) In General – That the President is authorized to use all
necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed,
or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001,
or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent
any future acts of international terrorism against the United States
by such nations, organizations or persons.

 

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