Both under U.S. and International Law, our President is limited on military action. – “So far, President Obama has acted lawfully in response to this crisis,” Harold Hongju Koh wrote. A Sterling professor of international law at Yale, who served as legal advisor to the U.S. State Department, Koh said that under international law, the president may use force to avert humanitarian disaster and to protect U.S. nationals and vital interests. He also noted that the Iraqi government consented.
Koh also mentioned that the more the president keeps bombing, the more he will be accused of malfeasance. The challenge for the President is that he is limited under U.S. law under two Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF’s). Koh points out that the 2001 AUMF was aimed to prevent al Qaeda from attacking the U.S. and the 2002 AUMF was directed at Suddam Hussein.
Whoever the US President is; they need to work with Congress to obtain necessary approval and funding aimed directly at ISIS. This week, some lawmakers have already offered bills in an attempt to provide the necessary U.S. authority.