Obama Seeks Flexibility for Use of Force in Syria

Obama Seeks Flexibility for Use of Force in Syria

Over the weekend, President Barack Obama called for a vote on a proposed United States military strike against Syria, with the administration releasing a draft authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that served as a starting point for congressional discussion this week.

Lawmakers are working to amend the broad language of that draft, with new draft language proposed by the Senate that uses narrower language than in the administration’s draft and places some limits on the authorization to use force.

Speaking with Trend Lines on Tuesday, John Bellinger III, an expert in national security law, said the president has an interest in a broad AUMF, whereas Congress has learned the importance of focusing on specifics. Bellinger is a partner in Arnold & Porter LLP’s national security and public international law practices, adjunct senior fellow for national and international security law at the Council on Foreign Relations and former legal adviser for the U.S. Department of State and the National Security Council.

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