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Obama Informs Congress of Iraq Airstrikes Under War Powers Act

•, by Jason Ditz

President Obama formally notified Congress today of the beginning of airstrikes against the Iraqi town of Amerli, as required under the War Powers Act. Administration officials say the attack was "consistent with the military missions we have outlined to date in Iraq."

Under the War Powers Act, the president is allowed only to launch such unapproved operations in the case of "a national emergency," which would be a difficult case to make in Iraq, and also he can only continue the war for 60 days without a Congressional authorization for the use of military force.

The 60 day clock really should have been ticking from the start of airstrikes earlier in August, but could be argued to begin with the Amerli strikes, which are what the administration notified Congress about.

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