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Obama at WarCongress and the Imperial Presidency$
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Ryan C. Hendrickson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813160948

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813160948.001.0001

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Obama’s Military Strikes on Libya

Obama’s Military Strikes on Libya

(p.55) 4 Obama’s Military Strikes on Libya
Obama at War

Ryan C. Hendrickson

University Press of Kentucky

The U.S. and NATO use of force in Libya in 2011 was the first new war for President Obama (distinguished from the two wars he inherited from George W. Bush). In his effort to justify presidential insulation from congressional oversight during the strikes, Obama advanced a novel legal argument on the War Powers Resolution that proved to be controversial to many members of Congress. This use of force is intriguing given that a number of substantive political and legal congressional challenges were advanced against the commander in chief at this time. The House and Senate leadership of both parties generally discouraged, co-opted, or simply opposed these legislative war powers challenges, however, which worked to keep Congress’s constitutional and political responsibility for the strikes limited and tertiary. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R–Ohio) played a critical role in this process of curtailing significant constitutional challenges to the commander in chief and instead continued the practice of congressional deference to the president during military conflicts.

Keywords:   John Boehner, Dennis Kucinich, Libya, Muammar Qaddafi, Tea Party, War Powers Resolution

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