SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- US Senator Rand Paul is calling on Congress to officially declare war on the ISIL terrorist organization and limit US presidential war powers for waging an “illegal” war against the group.
Paul, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, plans to introduce a resolution when Congress returns in December to formally declare war against ISIL, the New York Times reported on Monday.
In an interview with the Times on Saturday, Paul said “right now this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it.”
The senator from Kentucky said Congress had ceded too much authority to President Barack Obama because it had not been able to agree on a war policy of its own. “War cannot be initiated without Congress,” he told the newspaper.
Paul’s request for a congressional war declaration comes just two weeks after he wrote in a Daily Beast Op-Ed that the US war against ISIL “must be declared and made valid, or it must be ended.”
The Obama administration has said the president has the legal authority to conduct the current fight against ISIL through a 2002 war authorization that led to the Iraq war and a 2001 measure that resulted in the war in Afghanistan.
US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since early August. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
The US and some of its Arab allies have also been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria since late September without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday after nearly two years as head of the US military. US officials say Hagel had expressed frustration over the Obama administration’s strategy in Iraq and Syria.