Targeted Airstrikes Against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
The President had the constitutional authority to order targeted airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant without prior congressional authorization.
The President had reasonably determined that these military operations would further sufficiently important national interests. A combination of three relevant national interests—protecting American lives and property; assisting an ally or strategic partner at its request; and protecting endangered populations against humanitarian atrocities, including possible genocide—supported the President’s constitutional authority to order the operations without prior congressional authorization.
The anticipated nature, scope, and duration of the military operations did not rise to the level of a “war” within the meaning of the Declaration of War Clause.