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    US President Barack Obama speaks during a surprise visit with US troops at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014, prior to the Memorial Day holiday

    Does the US Sending Troops to Syria Amount to Illegal 'Aggression'?

    © AFP 2016/ Saul LOEB
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    The Obama administration’s plan to send Special Forces into Syria may not be entirely legal, according to US law. But given the fact that the yearlong coalition air campaign was also never approved by the US Congress, Obama appears to be conducting the same type of aggressive military operations for which he criticized his predecessor.

    According to the War Powers Act, the US Congress has 60 days to approve military action. The legislation is in place to prevent any single president from launching wars which may not be in the best interest of the American people.

    The Obama administration launched the US-led bombing campaign to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State terrorist group over a year ago. It never came up for a vote.

    So while the air campaign may violate international law since it was not welcomed by the Syrian President Bashar al Assad, it also breaches the United States’ own rules about how to conduct combat.

    The administration's announcement that it will place US boots on the ground in Syria will move forward in a similar fashion, and, paradoxically, even contradict the White House’s own previous support for Congressional authority.

    Throughout the US-led campaign, a number of legislative committees have proposed Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against IS. While the Obama administration has carried on without Congressional approval, it has endorsed a select number of the AUMF proposals.

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    © Flickr/ Program Executive Office Soldier

    But almost all of these explicitly forbid the placement of ground troops in Syria. Meaning everyone, including President Obama, fully recognizes that there is no legal basis for the placement of US forces in Syria.

    Following last week’s announcement, the Obama administration has come under fire for its decision, even from those within its own party. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, who has been one of Obama’s closest allies in the past, came out as being firmly against new troop deployment.

    "Many of the decisions they’ve made I strongly support," Kaine told reporters last week, "…but we are kind of going from crisis to crisis."

    "We have been waging offensive war which has really been without legal justification," he added.

    Syrian officials have also spoken out against the plan. In addition to the fact that Washington will operate without the authority of or coordination with the Syrian government, MP Sharif Shehadeh pointed out American hypocrisy in the decision.

    "When America sends ground forces into Syrian territories without an agreement with the Syrian government it becomes an intervention and aggression," he told the Associated Press.

    "Will America allow Russian ground forces to go into America without an agreement? I think the answer is no."

    Obama’s plan calls for the sending of between 30 and 50 US Special Forces "advisers." Claims that the personnel will serve in a purely advisory capacity have already been called into question based on the combat role of similar forces in Iraq.

    Washington has also insisted that its efforts will be focused against IS, and not the Syrian government, though the Obama administration has been adamant about its view that Assad must be removed from power.

    Related:

    Russia's Achievements in Syria 'Anger' Washington
    Russian Operation in Syria 'in Line With International Law'
    Kerry: US Plans to Coordinate Actions in Syria With Russia
    Tags:
    Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), War Powers Act, US Congress, Pentagon, Sharif Shehadeh, Barack Obama, Tim Kaine, Russia, Syria, United States
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    • cast235
      FSA is about removal of Assad. Not more nor less.
    • teddy j
      then the USA should not have any complaint when its troops and 'advisers' of TERRORISTS -- gunning for the LEGITIMATE SYRIAN government and the LEGITIMATE GUESTS AND ALLY RUSSIANS --

      ARE BOMBED OR CAPTURED by the russians ,syrians and iranians -- and displayed as PRISONERS OF WAR against syria. . and russia and iran.

      the USA should have NO complaints........

      being caught , imprisoned or bombed as ILLEGAL INVADERS AND OCCUPIERS.
    • Pelagius
      Tim Kaine is a Jesuit in disguise; check on his bio. the most formidable secret agents of GBR and US are the Jesuits and other mendicant orders, as Sputnik has illustrated about the incident of espionage in North Korea very recently.
      Don`t believe your politicians, economists or bankers a word, even if they play the opposing-side. Bush and Kerry are both Skull & Bones-men; additionally Kerry is Jesuit-trained.
    • karlof1
      The actions of the Outlaw Empire are equivalent to having declared war on Syria. Assad must say as much and add that unless it stops its aggression, Outlaw Empire forces will be attacked.
    • choticastilein reply tokarlof1(Show commentHide comment)
      karlof1, Exactly! The correct way for Assad to put it across! US entry into Syria, is then an invasion of a sovereign state, with the aim of overthrowing the government and legally elected leader of that state.
    • affordable.guy
      If you have a "BOGUS PIECE PRIZE" apparently it's a license to KILL! Will the world please arrest the obvious criminals and get them to spill the beans on the perpetrators! Lord help us all!
    • farwatchpost
      By breaking their own laws and constitution US government has rendered itself "illegitimate" and subject to a "regime change" . I'll bring the cookies.
    • Normpich
      President Obama & Warmongers & Company, are clear that your "Boots, etc" in Syria, and any consequences there off, will be attributable to your Idiotic invasion, of 1 or 1.000 boots on the ground. We will probably see some more US troops beheaded by the Idiots(Terrorist/Mercenaries) you and your Allies(Especially Saudi's, who are experts in beheading). You will be tried both in the US and International Courts, and I hope to be part of the Jury.
    • mainstream.media.propaganda
      ISIS… a military strategy against our own mercenaries??

?

      2012 DIA Report (declassified) levantreport.com/2015/05/19/2012-defense-intelligence-agency-document-west-will-facilitate-rise-of-i
    • hopscotch64
      I really wish you people on this site would understand that the United States is an "EXCEPTIONAL" nation that does not have to comply with any international laws or norms . Like James Bond the United States has a license to kill anyone, anywhere and at any time. They also have the right to change a government that they do not agree with by military force because the United States is "EXCEPTIONAL". You see countries like Russia, China, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Cuba, Venezuela, etc. etc. are not "EXCEPTIONAL" and therefore subject to US subversion and military adventures. If only you people would see the light. I mean just look at the United States and how wonderful and exceptional it is. The United States has absolutely no domestic problems, the people are 100% satisfied with the status quo and you could be too. Oh, maybe a few minor problems like 23% unemployment, rampant racism, state condoned police thuggery , rampant corruption at all levels of the government, 1 in 4 children do not have enough to eat, a justice system that is based on how wealthy you are and racist, a government that thinks corporate entities are people, the wholesale destruction of the environment, a crushing debt, a broken and racist educational system etc. etc.. I could go on but would run out of space and time to list them all. Yes my friends the United States is truly "EXCEPTIONAL", and this gives them the God given right to tell others what governments and social systems they will live under since the American way is so, so perfect and "EXCEPTIONAL"
    • rishardhawk
      The strongest of actions must be taken by removing the evil forces of the elite which act in America and the World .
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