I must respectfully disagree with Andrew Napolitano’s interpretation of the War Powers Act (also known as the War Powers Resolution). The judge’s Sept. 5 Commentary piece (“War: What is it good for?”) reads, in part, “[F]ederal law permits the president to commit U.S. military forces anywhere he wants for up to 90 days, without express authorization from Congress.”
The War Powers Act does not say that. It says: “The constitutional powers of the president as commander in chief to introduce United States armed forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” In other words, there has to be a congressional authorization except in emergency.
In Syria, we face no emergency.
EUGENE G. WINDCHY