Understanding Authorizations for the Use of Military Force – Center for American Progress

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/reports/2014/09/24/97748/understanding-authorizations-for-the-use-of-military-force/

Recent presidents of both parties and in different contexts have concluded that it is lawful for the president to use military force without congressional authorization in a wide range of circumstances. Generally, since the Korean War, presidential use of military force without congressional authorization has rested on two criteria. First, the military action is intended to defend U.S. persons, property, or national interests. Second, the military operation is clearly short of the traditional understanding of war.

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