Is Obama Waging an Illegal War Against ISIS? One Army Captain Thinks So.

An Army Captain based in Kuwait is suing over what he claims is an illegal war against ISIS. What’s behind the legal history of the war against terrorism?  

By Rhonda FanningMay 5, 2016 8:26 am

Lost in the noise of Trump-mania Wednesday was a lawsuit filed in Washington by a U.S. Army Captain currently serving in Kuwait.

Nathan Michael Smith, an Army intelligence officer who says he supports the war against what he describes as the “army of butchers” known as ISIS but he doubts that the war is legal.

Captain Smith is suing President Obama, stating that he does not have the authority to wage war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. According to the lawsuit, Smith maintains the war is illegal. So far, the White House has not commented on the challenge.

Legal experts say the lawsuit has merit. In fact, for nearly two years military legal scholar Robert Chesney, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, has questioned the Obama administration’s justification for its war on ISIS. The reasoning has been that because Congress declared war on Al-Qaeda as part of the official War on Terror after 9/11. But ISIS has since broken off from Al-Qaeda, which could make current strikes against ISIS unauthorized.

“There are a number of people who feel the 2001 authorization to use military force against Al-Qaeda is a bit of a stretch,” he says, “when you’re trying to explain how and why we’re lawfully using force against ISIS today in Iraq and Syria.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How the war against terrorism has morphed in the decade and a half since 2001

– Whether the U.S. would be better off with an official declaration against ISIS

– Why Congress hasn’t declared war yet and why the courts are reluctant to get involved in the issue of authorizing war

Post prepared by Hannah McBride.