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September 30, 2014  

Fighting Words: At War Or Not At War? The Answer Is … Well, Sorta Kinda  

President Obama shocked the nation and the world when he said at a White House news conference on Aug. 28 that he had “no strategy yet” for dealing with the rise of Islamic State jihadist terrorism in the Middle East—despite more than a year of top-level reports and briefings and inside pressure since 2008 to respond. On Sept. 10, he unilaterally declared war against the IS, announcing that he had authorized a bombing campaign against its strongholds in Iraq and Syria. By Sept. 22, he had rustled up a “coalition” to participate in the airstrikes.

So, the United States is at war, right? Yes. And no. And not really, but sort of, but not legally.

Congress wants a showdown of its own with Obama. It did vote to authorize a budget for Obama’s war-not-war, but it did not authorize war, leaders say.

Leid Stories continues its discourse on the questions it asked from the beginning: Are Obama’s actions legal, according to U.S. and international law, and is the nation at war? Listeners contribute their thoughts.

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