Kaine Warns Against Pre-Emptive War Without Congressional Approval

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) announced shortly after the U.S. began airstrikes against ISIS in Syria that Congress is accepting the “Cheney Doctrine” of pre-emptive war, as President Obama did not have clear authorization for the action, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

“The President has indicated that these missions are justified by the 2001 and 2002 authorizations by congress. I think that this argument is an extremely stretch by extremely creative lawyers,” Kaine remarked at an event for the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Last week Congress agreed to the President’s plan of equipping and training Syrian rebel forces to combat the ISIS, but has yet to authorize a new war. Now the Obama administration is left to rely on a 2001 resolutions that authorized the use of armed forces against the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. After the attack, then-Vice President Dick Cheney spoke out in favor of pre-emptive military strikes against threatening nations or organizations.

Kaine has advocated for the White House to gain congressional authorization for using military force against ISIS since June. Last week the Senator introduced new legislation that would limit such action to one year, causing the need for Congress to renew it, and that would not allow the use of combat troops on the ground.

On Tuesday Kaine said “The president should not be doing this without Congress. The initiation for military action must come from Congress; the Constitution is very clear on that.”

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