Among the many questions President Obama dodged during his Wednesday press conference was this: “Do you believe the War Powers Act is constitutional?”
The War Powers Resolution requires the President to receive the approval of Congress within 62 days after introducing U.S. forces into three types of hostilities, including “into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat, except for deployments which relate solely to supply, replacement, repair, or training of such forces.”
Obama maintains that the United States is not engaged in “hostilities” in Libya.
Air Force and Navy aircraft are still flying hundreds of strike missions over Libya despite the Obama administration’s claim that American forces are playing only a limited support role in the NATO operation.
An Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that since NATO’s Operation Unified Protector (OUP) took over from the American-led Operation Odyssey Dawn on March 31, the U.S. military has flown hundreds of strike sorties. Previously, Washington had claimed that it was mostly providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and tanker support to NATO forces operating over Libya.
“U.S. aircraft continue to fly support [ISR and refueling] missions, as well as strike sorties under NATO tasking,” AFRICOM spokeswoman Nicole Dalrymple said in an emailed statement. “As of today, and since 31 March, the U.S. has flown a total of 3,475 sorties in support of OUP. Of those, 801 were strike sorties, 132 of which actually dropped ordnance.”
Read more at www.airforcetimes.com
A White House report on Libya sent to Congress on June 15 says that “American strikes are limited to the suppression of enemy air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator UAVs against a specific set of targets.” The report also says the U.S. provides an “alert strike package.”