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Broadside: What if Obama is denied Syria resolution?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013, 7:33pm
(NECN) - A week from now, we'll find out if Congress is war-weary and how that translates into the vote on authorizing military strikes against Syria.

Professor Kent Greenfield of Boston College Law School, where he teaches and writes about constitutional law, has answers on the authority of presidents to wage war.

Greenfield says President Obama doesn't have the authority to do what he wants if Congress denies his resolution on Syria.

"We have a couple of sources of law to look at. One is the Constitution, which is vague and not surprisingly the Constitution says the president is the commander in chief for the armed forces, but it also says the Congress has the power to declare war. Now, we've only had five declared wars in the history of the country, the last one being World War II and in fact, in the United Nations compact in 1945, war was outlawed as a matter of international law, so we don't declare any war any more. So what we do though is authorize the use of force," he says.

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