Did Congress Authorize War in Pakistan?

Noah Shachtman wants to know if we’re at war in Pakistan (as opposed to with Pakistan). He lays out the case here and here, with particular emphasis on the expanded target list in the Pakistani FATA, which amounts to U.S.assistance in a domestic Pakistani counterinsurgency campaign.

Now, I’m not sure if what we’re doing is war, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t covered by the Congressional authorization for the Afghanistan War:

. . . [T]he President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriateforce against those nations, organizations, or persons he determinesplanned, authorized, committed, or aided the terroristattacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored suchorganizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts ofinternational terrorism against the United States by such nations,organizations or persons.

That’s worded in such a broad way as to make it easy to go after al-Qaida — the Afghan Taliban leadership using the FATA as safe haven for the Afghanistan insurgency — just about anywhere.

But according to the recent reports Shachtman flagged, we’re now targeting Pakistani Taliban who had nothing to do with 9/11, in order to keep them from attacking Islamabad. That’s pretty obviously outside the law passed by Congress, and makes the drone campaign in FATA subject to the War Powers Act.

Question: Is anyone going to call President Barack Obama on this?

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