So I’m curious: on what basis is the President of the United States able to issue orders to attack the armed forces of Syria?
It is not on the basis of the 2001 “Authorization for Use of Military Force,” cited in many instances, because there has been no claim that Syria was involved in the 9/11 attacks. (Bush and then Obama both stretched this basis incredibly, and worryingly, far. But both took care to trace back to an authorization.)
It is not on the basis of an emergency use of force because the United States was directly threatened.
Which leaves us with, as the NY Times reports:
Mr. Trump authorized the strike with no congressional approval for the use of force, an assertion of presidential authority that contrasts sharply with the protracted deliberations over the use of force by his predecessor, Barack Obama. (“Dozens of U.S. Missiles Hit Air Base in Syria.”)
Or, as Donald Trump once said:
Seriously, what is the legal basis of this order?
Have we really arrived at a point where the President of the United States can simply order the military to strike anywhere, anytime, at his personal discretion?