The question surrounding U.S. Military Action (in the Middle-East particularly) is one of legitimate authority. Whether under domestic or international law the issue may not be so much a question of authority, but more so one of convenient silence.
Historically a Declaration of War (DOW) under International Law has been the recognized right of a sovereign nation. The U.S.’s last DOW occurred in the 1940’s while Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), since the late 1950’s, have become the accepted replacement for DOW.
We’ve found no single instance were an AUMF has been challenged in the World Court. AMUF’s have become favored as they avoid the comprehensive authorities vested in a formal DOW and preserve the appearance of legality however, unless an AMUF is repealed it lives on and on and on. To appear relevant Congress may want to update an AMUF however under their own actions, from reviewing previous Authorizations, it is clear that the only time an Authorization is every challenged, or updated, is when a political advantage is to be gained.
Absent the occasional update or formal repeal the mandatory function of congressional oversight is often ignored and as we know where no price for failure exists there is no compelling cause for accountability. In the case of the Authority for Acts of War, where there is no prohibitive ideal, authority is never in question!
Curtis C. Greco, Founder