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Does the president need Congress’ approval to use force in Syria?

September 4, 2013

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

In light of a reported chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against his own people, the Obama administration is trying to persuade Congress to authorize a military strike on Syria.

President Obama has been lobbying congressional leadership to endorse military action against the Assad regime. Sens. Robert Menendez (R., N.J.) and Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) have drafted legislation with support of the president to use military force. The bill says that the United States’ intention for intervention is a response to the use of weapons of mass destruction. The measure also aims to protect the interests of the United States and its allies against the use of such weapons and to hinder Syria’s ability to use the weapons.

The vote on the legislation is expected to be close. But does the president need Congress’ approval to authorize use of force in Syria?

Well, that depends on how you look at Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Act.

Article I, Section 8 says Congress shall have the power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” That means Congress must make a formal declaration of war before a president can authorize military action against another country.

But that’s in cases of a full-scale war. Congress hasn’t formally declared war since World War II. What if a onetime military action, like in Libya in 2011, or the bombing campaigns in the Balkans in the 1990s, is at stake?

In those instances, the president can authorize military action under the 1973 War Powers Act, which was drafted to allow the president to quickly deploy troops for short periods to protect the United States and defend national interests abroad. The president must notify Congress within 48 hours of initiating military action. U.S. troops are barred from fighting for more than 90 days without congressional approval.

The War Powers Act was in response to the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The president sent troops to a “police action” in those countries without the authorization of Congress. The Korean War lasted three years, and U.S. military fought in Vietnam for nearly a decade

Presidents have maneuvered around the law several times. In the bombing campaign against Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, command of U.S. forces was transferred to the NATO command, an alliance of European and North American countries.

So why is Syria different and why is the president seeking Congress’ approval?

This is where it gets a little tricky. Syria has not attacked or threatened the United States or its allies. Since there is no threat to Americans or U.S. allies, it would be hard to argue that the War Powers Act applies. And some legal scholars say that without congressional approval, military action would be unconstitutional.

“I think it’s pretty clear that an American attack, without the sanction of the United Nations, the support of allies, the authorization of Congress — or, it must be said, much hope of meaningful success — would violate the Constitution,” said Garrett Epps of Baltimore Law School.

“U.S. citizens and military personnel are not under attack,” Epps said. “It is not a split-second emergency. … This is precisely the kind of situation for which the Framers of our Constitution designed its division of authority between president and Congress. Sending our missiles against Syria is an act of war. If it is to be done, Congress, not the president, should approve.”

Other legal scholars argue that it could go either way, depending on international support and shifting views on the issue. University of Virginia law professor Robert F. Turner wrote, “As a policy matter, there are compelling arguments both for getting Congress formally on board first and against using military force to ‘punish’ Syrian President Bashar Aasad. As a question of international law, the unilateral use of force without Security Council authorization to ‘punish’ even a notorious tyrant and war criminal finds little support. But, pursuant to the Constitution, the President clearly has the power to do so.”

What do you think?

Does the president need Congress’ approval before taking military action against Syria? Does the 1973 War Powers Act apply to Syria? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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11/22/2016
Sidney, MT
Tessa
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Under the War Powers Act, the President possesses the authority to engage military action in Syria (at a moment’s notice) by quickly deploying troops in order to protect the United States and defend national interests abroad. By this, it gives him/her the power to take military action without Congressional approval. Also, to strengthen this argument, if there were a legal requirement to get the approval of numerous legislators before taking any actions, our nation would be left defenseless if attacked. So in reality, no, the President does not need Congress’ approval before taking military action against Syria. But, is this really the right way to go about it? I believe that it is critical that the President and Congress have the same stance on the issue because it is such an important/potentially dangerous decision to make for our country and our people. If one man or woman is able to launch a war without approval it basically defeats the purpose of checks and balances within the branches of our government. Not only that, it is quite possible that the President may potentially abuse that power or overstep his/her bounds. Engaging in military action should not be done by the snap of one’s fingers. Careful consideration on both the President and Congress’s side is crucial to our protection and effectiveness in times of war.

11/20/2016
Sidney, MT
Landan
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
I firmly believe that the President should be able to send US troops for short periods of time to act as police in countries where our interests are being threatened under the War Powers Act of 1973. In the case of Syria, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is supported by our political rival Russia, is committing grave humanitarian offenses against his citizens using weapons of mass destruction that could potentially be turned against our allies that are nearby geographically to Assad and Syria shall he win the civil war. In DC, we often see divided government between Congress and the Presidency, and therefore oftentimes the majority party in Congress if differing from the Presidency will attempt to stop the President at all costs from achieving his (or hopefully soon, her) goals. For this reason, the President must have the ability to take swift military action in times such as this.

11/20/2016
Sidney/Montana
Laura
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
In this case, I believe the President needs Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria. To go against Congress without having an emergency situation to rush towards would be going against the constitution, which divides authority between the President and Congress. It is not up to the President to make a hasty decision in foreign affairs that do not directly affect the United States and her citizens, the checks and balances in the constitution require the President to go through Congress before any decision is made. There has been no act of war against the United States or any of her allies, so there is no reason to jump in with military action. Without a direct threat towards us, the 1973 War Powers Act is not applicable towards Syria. Sometimes the United States needs to just stay out of foreign affairs and focus on fixing itself, before helping fix other countries.

11/18/2016
Sidney, Montana
Andrew
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I definitely think that the president should have to get approval from Congress before sending any form of a large scale invasion. When we intervene in foreign affairs, many things should be taken into consideration; potential outcomes, how much it will cost, how dangerous it is, etc. If the president acts on behalf of our nation, invading or authorizing a large scale military invention and this action is very contrary to the wishes of the American people, this action could result in various repercussions. The president's approval rating would plummet, there may be global consequences, and our reputation with foreign affairs may be permanently scarred. I do not think that the president should be able to authorize military action without the consent of Congress. Doing so would be a very clear example of abuse of power. The president is supposed to make executive decisions on our *behalf*, not what only one person (the one in the oval office) wants. The president should require Congress's approval before authorizing any form of military intervention.

11/18/2016
Sidney, Montana
Johren
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The President and Congress should be of the same stances when it comes to making such an important decision like sending military powers to an area. The framers of the Constitution never intended for the President to make these decisions on his own. Checks and balances are a vital part of our government, and to eliminate those would lead to mass upset of the American people. Sending military force to Syria could very possibly lead to more serious action and concern of people all across our world. The belief of most educated American people aligns with that of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and the 1973 War Powers Act in saying that Congress should make these important decisions regarding our military force in foreign nations.

11/18/2016
Sidney/Mt
christine
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Since Syria was not technically a declaration of war, no, the president does not necessarily need to receive formal authorization from Congress. The U.S. and our interests are not in immediate danger so the 1973 War Powers act does not allow us to take immediate action in Syria. However, I believe we need a new constitutional understanding that translates the war-declaration power into a more modern term. Since World War ll we haven’t declared war. I believe every president should get some kind of approval when he takes the country to war because it is a process in which we should not rush unless it is immediate danger to our homeland. The President and Congress should be on the same page and communicate with one another because I think that is an important aspect of leadership.

11/18/2016
Sidney Montana
Kasey
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
Without a doubt the President should have to get approval from congress before going into war. Going to war is a design that should not be rash and filled with emotion. Going to war should take time because it needs to be thought out. For if any decision has consequences that one would carry a lot of consequences. Besides do we really want our President to have so much power where he can bypass congress? Isn’t the point of having three EQUAL branches of government to make sure that they keep one other in check? Of course it is, they act as a check point in our system or another way of saying is that they are safety nets of each other. Having theses check points are not supposed to make it impossible to go to war but only to make sure that it is the decision that is truly best for our country. For example when the United States entered World War Two it was pretty clear that is what needed to happen after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Though it was obvious that we were going to get involved in the war, Franklin D. Roosevelt, our acting President at the time still went to congress and let them in on the decision making.

11/18/2016
Sidney/Montana
Laura
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
In this case, I believe the President needs Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria. To go against Congress without having an emergency situation to rush towards would be going against the constitution, which divides authority between the President and Congress. It is not up to the President to make a hasty decision in foreign affairs that do not directly affect the United States and her citizens, the checks and balances in the constitution require the President to go through Congress before any decision is made. There has been no act of war against the United States or any of her allies, so there is no reason to jump in with military action. Without a direct threat towards us, the 1973 War Powers Act is not applicable towards Syria. Sometimes the United States needs to just stay out of foreign affairs and focus on fixing itself, before helping fix other countries.

11/18/2016
Sidney/Montana
Zach
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney Hgh School
By looking at the issue we have to see whether it would be constitutional for the President to use force in Syria without approval from congress. If we then looks at the constitution itself it states in Article I, Section 8 that Congress shall have the power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” That means Congress must make a formal declaration of war before a president can authorize military action against another country. This really gives us our answer to the question and that is it would be unconstitutional for the president to not seek approval from congress. Although we have some exceptions to this article and that would be the 1973 War Powers Act, which entitles the president to deploy troops for a short period of 90 days and must notify congress within 48 hours of deploying troops. This was enacted to help protect the United States and defend national interests abroad. As we see in the Syrian crisis the U.S. is in no danger and would do barely anything to satisfy our national interests. This to me would mean that even though this is a giant moral issue we have to still follow the basic interpretations of the constitution which I would say the President does not have right to start a conflict in Syria.

11/17/2016
Sidney, MT
Michael
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The executive office of the United States holds immense power regarding the military; however the office is still kept in check through specific Acts and the Constitution. In this scenario, I believe President Obama does indeed require Congressional approval in order to attack President Aasad. According to the War Powers Act, a president can quickly deploy troops for a short period of time in order to protect the United States and defend national interests abroad. In this case, the United States is in no way directly affected by Syria and Syria is not interfering with any other allied nations. If President Obama were to attack President Aasad using the War Powers Act for his justification, it would be absolutely unconstitutional. This is a perfect example of checks and balances at work. President Obama is going about this issue the correct way by asking Congress for approval before attacking Syria.

11/17/2016
Sidney Montana
Chantel Wilcoxon
Sidney High School Mr. Faulhaber
In the case of Syria, I do not feel the the 1973 War Powers Act applies for the sole reason that the United States has not been threatened or attacked by Syria. The United States does not need to get involved in a war if we are not in danger of being attacked. The 1973 War Powers Act is only to be used in case of emergency to make sure our country stays safe. The President should always have to get Congress' approval for any war, although the President is Commander-in-Chief because it is a part of the Constitution. Going against this article would deem this case in Syria unconstitutional and would not be right, especially since our country is not in danger at this time. If we were to be attacked or seriously threatened and the President feels that sending military is the only way to protect our country, then the 1973 War Powers Act applies and he/she could notify Congress and send troops without necessarily going into war with the country.

11/17/2016
Sidney, MT
Dawson
Mr. Faulhaber/ Sidney High School
This question revolves all the way back to the Framers of the Constitution. When they made the constitution, they made it to where the president did not have too much power, but at the same time he could take control if need be. I think the most interesting part of this speak out, is the War Powers Act. Many argue that Syria has not attacked or threatened the U.S. or its allies. I would argue that if Syria continues to use chemical weapons, they are only going to get more power hungry. That is when it would become a problem for the United States, when Syria gets so power hungry with the chemical weapons that they decide to expand their attack range, until it reaches allies or the U.S. Chemical weapons are weapons of max destruction and can deal a lot of damage and if the U.S. continues to sit back and watch, then Syria may decide to expand. But, I think Congress should have a say and there should be a majority vote on whether or not to get involved. Personally, I think that the U.S. needs to do something to prevent expansion of chemical weapons. The president has powers, but they are limited and checked to make sure they are not abused.

11/17/2016
Sidney MT
Quinlyn
Mr.Faulhaber Sidney High School
The War Powers Act was only put in place over the veto of President Nixon. The article here says that Syria is currently not a threat to the United States, so what business do we have to aply this act on them. Taking military action there would be silly. But if this is something we are looking to pursue then it should be necessary that we get it passed in Congress. We need to stay true to Article 1 section 8.

11/17/2016
Sidney/Montana
Justin
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The president should need approval from congress before launching military strikes and campaigns like Syria. The War Powers Act was put in place so one man alone could not launch this nation into war. Having Congress review the situation gives more insight to the military plan and whether the whole United States government is interested in acting on that plan. Even though the presidents official title is Commander and Chief, it does not give him free reign to engage in conflicts he sees fit. The War Powers Act clearly states that Congress needs to approve declarations of war and launching military operations against a nation is an act of war. The president should need his military operation propositions approved by Congress.

9/5/2016
Sidney/Montana
Bree
Mr.Louis/Sidney High School
I feel like the president does not need the Congress' approval because none of the presidents earlier needed it to use military powers. The 1973 War Powers Act does apply to Syria because the president can use the Act to take military action due to the authority of being able to defend national interests abroad. Futhermore, the president only has to notify Congress of his actions, not get permission.

9/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Michael G.
Mr. Lewis
The President does not need Congress to authorize military action against Syria if its needed to protect the United States or defend national interest, under the War Powers Act, but he must notify Congress within 48 hours. However, in this case the War Powers Act would not apply to an attack on Syria since Syria has not attacked or threatened the United States or any of its allies.

9/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Jacey
Mr. Lewis
I believe that the president does need approval before taking military action against Syria. Syria has yet to attack or threaten us, so why should we get ahead of ourselves and start something that isn't even guaranteed. The Constitution clearly states that Congress must be involved when the president wants to take military action. In my opinion, that is for the better because that means there are more people to consider right from wrong before making any decisions. I think that the 1973 War Powers Act does apply to Syria, but only if needed.

9/2/2016
Sidney Mt
Caden
Mr. Lewis SHS
I feel that he needs approval. If there was a direct threat to us or our people, the situation would be different. It is uneccessary to be able to use force without a threat to the nation. Attacking a nation that has not directly attacked us is not a good idea, and may force some nations to take action against the United States, or similar peace-keeping nations. There is not point in attacking a nation that has not directly attacked ours.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Skylar Imhof
Mr. Lewis/Sidney High School
The President does not need to wait on Congress's approval. Under Article 2, Section. 2 of the U.S. Constitution, it states that "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." This means that he can authorize an attack on Syria without their opinion on the matter, although he does have to notify them 48 hours before initiating military action. The War Powers Act does not apply in this case because we have not declared war with Syria.

9/2/2016
Sidney
Allyson
Mr. Lewis
The president does need approval from the Congress before taking military actions again Syria. Syria is not yet a serious threat, therefor the president should have approval. The 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to Syria because there is no need for protection at this time because there is no threat to us, as of now.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Nakieta
Mr. Leiws
I believe that the president shouldn't have to seek approval from Congress. This article is saying that Syria is not a serious threat yet because they have not attacked or threatened the United States or its allies. I feel that the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to Syria now because they are not a threat but if they were to make a move or attack then the President should have a full right to take action in trying to protect the United States.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
John
Mr. Lewis
I don't believe that the president should activate troops and deploy them to Syria. I believe he is over stepping his bounds. I know he is trying to stick up and help defend the people of Syria, but he needs to keep out of it. But i believe the president needs congress approval. In Article I, section 8 it states that congress shall have the power to "declare war". I just believe that this war, or conflict will go nowhere, and it will get more Americans killed in a fight that isn't ours.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Kirsten
Mr. Lewis
The President should get approval from Congress to use force in Syria. According to Article I, Section 8 it states that Congress can "Declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." Therefore before the President can allow military action on another country Congress has to make a formal declaration. The president could possibly use the 1973 War Powers Act but that can be considered a violation of the Constitution since Syria has no attacked or threatened the attack of the United States or any of it allies. The authors of our Constitution made the division in authority between Congress and the President in case of a situation like this. Therefore the President should follow the Constitution and get the approval from Congress.

9/2/2016
Sidney MT
Brenley
Mr. Lewis Sidney high school
Even though there is evidence that the Syrian President is killing his people Obama has no right to attack it is not United States business. I think he does need Congress’ approval because Syria is not attacking the US or our allies. Being that they are not attacking us, it does not apply to the 1973 War Powers Act.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Ashley
Mr. Lewis
If the President feels the need to endorse military action on the Assad regime and thinks that it would put Americans in danger, he shouldn't need approval. He's protecting us from what might happen in the future. The War Powers Act applies to Syria since they can deploy military troops for short periods of time. Better safe than sorry

9/2/2016
sidney, mt
lane
mr.louis/Sidney high school
i think the president should have to get the approval from congress, i feel like there should be alot more time focused on this to make the right decsion made to save lives but yet take action and get this under control.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Parker
Mr. Louis/ Sidney High School
I believe that the president does need to get approval from Congress before sending troops to Syria. I believe this because Syria isn't a serious threat to the United States at the moment. I don't think that the 1973 War Powers Act applies here, just because Syria is doing damage to their own country. I believe that we should not be involved in this mess with Syria unless there is a direct threat pointed at the United States. We need to let Syria deal with their own problems going on in their own country. The United States is doing no good by getting into other countries business.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
jared stein
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think the president should not have premission until he get approval from the Congress. A war is a big deal and if he was to declair it by him self there would be some very unhappy people. These are peoples lives we are talking about, the president should have to get opinions why or why we shouldn't go to war from the congress.

9/2/2016
Sidney/ Montana
Adam
Mr. Lewis/ Sidney High School
The president shouldnt have to have approval. He is the president of the u.s. for a reason. If he really feels that this is necassary enough, then i feel as if he has every right to make the decision himself. If the problem is bad enough, getting approval from congress will only slow things down, potentially making the problem in Syria worse.

9/2/2016
Sidney Montana
Jared Jurgens
Mr. Louis/Sidney High School
No, the president can authorize military action under the 1973 War Powers Act, which was drafted to allow the president to quickly deploy troops for short periods of time to protect the U.S. and defend nation interests abroad. I feel like this war powers act should apply since they are dangerous and our safety is at risk.

9/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Lexi
Faulhaber/SHS
In this case I think that the president should get approval before taking military action. Syria isn't a huge threat yet which means that he has time to consult Congress. I see no reason as to why he would attack Syria without approval first, because Syria isn't even a serious threat at this point. Therefore the 1973 War Powers Act wouldn't apply because Syria isn't attacking us. I think that at this point in time the US should just stay back but keep an eye on the situation, not intervene right away.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Sabryna
Me.Faulharber/Sidney High School
I think that the President does need to get Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria because if it isn't necessary to put military action there might be a huge war can be created. Also if he does send military action before and it is needed then they will keep fighting, but if not needed then no damagte that could cause a war will be put down by Congress and it keeps the President from being to powerful. He may be the in control of the military action , but he does need to be watched. The 1973 War Powers Act should apply to Syria because it applies to everyone else. If it didn't apply then it would be pointless to have it apply to everyone.

9/2/2016
Sidney/MT
Jaz Hodge
Mr. Lewis/Sidney Public School
I do think that President Obama needs to ask Congress about taking military action in Syria. If we look at what other presidents of done in the past, and what the War Powers Act states, we can see that the past presidents have only used their powers when the United States needed protection. Syria has not harmed us, and we are not in need of protection. To take any action without Congress's approval would be wrong, and very unwise. If the president is wanting to send troops and its not for Americans protection, we should get the opinions of many other people.

9/2/2016
Montana
Tanner Wacha
Mr. Faulharber/ Sidney
No, the president does not need Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria. The president can send troops in order to protect the U.S. He then has 48 hours to tell congress about the situation. I believe the 1973 War Powers Act does apply to Syria

9/2/2016
Sidney, Mt
Tia
Faulhaber/SHS
I think that the President has the right to do what he please but since the situation isnt that serious then he should get the congress approval before taking military action. If it was serious then the President has the right to send them right away with out consulting the congress.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Brett Norby
Mr. Faulhaber/ sidney high school
I believe that the situation in Syria should be required to have congressional approval before taking military action. the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to this case because there is no action that has been taken in which would force this situation to be made. Words or threats are not the same as actions and until the president is given a reason that requires a decision to be made quickly, he should be required to have congressional approval.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Mt
Peachlyn
Faulhaber
1) Yes the president needs congress approval to take military action. if he doesn't he would be walking a very fine line of being unconstitutional. 2) No the 1973 wars power at does no apply, because we are not calling war on Syria.

9/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Taylor
Mr. Faulharber
I feel like the POTUS does need congressional approval, but only after the alotted 48 hours. I feel like the constitution is often skewed out of context, and i believe that that is needed on some issues, but in most cases, following exactly what the constitution states, will solve most of our problems.

9/2/2016
Sidney Montana
Taylor Schepens
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High School
I do not think that the president should need congresses approval to declare war. If something were to happen right now he or she should be able to make a judgement call on whether or not we need to go to war. We should not have to sit around and wait for congress to make an approval. The president should be able to make that judgment call.

9/2/2016
sidney mt
diego
faulhaber/sidney high school
no not if Syria causes an immediate threat. its a toss up im not sure what to say about this but it should.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Cody
Mr. Lewis
Yes, I think the president should have approval from Congress to use force in Syria. They should not strike Syria because it could spark a war. Also Article I, Section 8 says Congress shall have the power. That means Congress must make a decision of war before a president can give out military commands against another country. Syria has not attacked or threatened the United States or its allies. The threat is not of great deal, so I think it would not be wise to strike Syria.

9/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Trace
Mr. Lewis/SPS
In order for the President to declare war, "Congress must make a formal declaration of war before a President can athorize military action against another country." So yes, I believe that the President does need Congress' approval before taking any military action against Syria. Yes, the War Powers Act applies to Syria if the show any signs of atttack on the U.S.

9/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Shyan
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
Yes, he should get Congress' approval first before he takes miliatry action because technically Syria is not a threat to the U.S. at this moment. Therefore if the president wants to use any military action on them he should get Congress' approval before he just starts attacking random people. No, the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to Syria because the act is to protect the United States but we do not need protecting. We are not under attack. If we put that act into use for this it would not end up just being the short amount of time it entails. It would turn into a war that could last for who knows how long. It would just be another pointless war to put us into even more debt than we already are. It would also cause us to lose valuable American lives for a war that wasn't even necessary to begin with.

9/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Cristian
Mr.Faulhaber/Sidney High School
No, the President should be allowed to under the 1973 War Powers Act. Not allowing the President to use his powers for this purpose is unconstituitonal and morally wrong. If someone has the power to stop something bad from happening, why would you not let him/her? If not, then what's the point of a president then? The problems in Syria are lesser than an all out war so the president should not need congress. I believe it was for the best that President Obama did what he did.

9/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Seth
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I think the president should have the approval of congress before taking military action against Syria. If they havent done anything to us than I dont think we have the right to do anything to them. At this point the president is just trying to play police for 3rd world countries. I think we should stay out of other people business unless their business actually effects us. If it does effect us then I think the president could take advantage of the War Powers Act. I Do not think the War Powers Act applies to Syria. In the passed when presidents have taken advantage of the act the US had been involved. With Syria this is not the case. The article says that the U.S. had not been attacked or threatened so I dont think its any of our business being over there. I think the president should have Congress approval before moving into Syria.

9/2/2016
Sidney/MT
Troy
Faulhaber
Yes, the president should acquire Congress' approval. If Syria has not threatened the U.S. or forced attacks on the U.S. It's better that Congress approves because that could start a pointless war. The 1973 War Powers Act would allow the president to apply military if to protect the United States, he must notify Congress within 48 hours of initiating military action. In this case I would say that the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to Syria.

9/2/2016
Sidney/Montana
Nick
Mr. Faulharber/ Sidney public Highschool
The president does not need congress before taking action against Syria, he has fourty-eight hours to inform congress of the situation after he orders it. Also according to the War Powers Act of 1973 since syria hasnt attacked the U.S. or any of our allies it does not apply even against what is or is not morally correct.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Kasey Young
Mr.Louis/Sidney High School
I feel like he should not need approval from the congress. He is the president and if he feels like if it is important that we do something before they do something then we should not doubt him. Another thing is if they are not doing anything harmful to us then why are we wanting to start war. War of Powers Act would apply to Syria becasue it says that they can deploy troops for a short periods of time. Especially if he is trying to protect the United States from something he knows might happen. He still has to give congress 48 hours of initiating military action.

9/2/2016
sidney/mt
kayden
Mr. Louis/ Sidney High School
In this case I think he does need to get approval. With the fact that there is no threat yet to our country or allies. I do feel however that if that changes and there is a threat or attack towards us then, no i do not feel that he needs to get permission from congress to do his duty in protecting and preserving our country. I do feel that the War Powers Act should apply to this where as they are a dangerous group and there is a possibility of a threat or attack to be made toward us. It wouldn't hurt to have our troops over there. so if it does go south there already deployed or possibly could have the chance to stop or prevent the attack form happening.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Emily
Mr. Faulhaber/Sidney High School
I believe that the president should seek Congress's approval just because I think it needs more than one opinion with something that can be as serious as something that may or may not cause a war. If Syria were to threaten the United States then I think that the 1973 War Powers Act can apply to this situation.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Nate
Mr. Faulhaber Sidney High
I believe that that the president needs Congress approval. Even though it isn't a formal declaration of war, it could lead to the start of one. I am not a fan of war as much as i like to know our country is dominant my brother is now enlisted in the marines and my veiwpoint has changed. The president should not have the right to all these young mens lives and the president doesn't have the right to solely decide what is best for the country. As it stands, the issue is very controversial and doesn't need to be taken lightly. An agreement reached by the president and Congress would be the best course of action.

9/2/2016
Sidney Mt
Jacob
Mr.Lewis Sidney High School
I believe him as a president did the right decision considering he didnt follow what Congress wants him to do because he is the president of the U.S he should have that power over congress he isnt babysitted by them so him as a president of the U.s did the right thing. What if the problem got really bad in the future and he has to go through them in the future for their approval? by then it could be to late so if he thinks as the president of the U.S he needs to make that choice and the problem is a threat to us then i believe he is right and has the doing of that without them.

9/2/2016
Sidney Montana
Tayler
Faulhaber/Lewis
The president needs the Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria because Syria is not a serious threat yet. The 1973 War Powers Act doesn't necessarily apply because Syria is not a serious threat right now. However, if Syria was to become a serious threat to us, The 1973 War Powers Act would apply and then the president wouldn't need Congress' approval, he would just have to notify them in 48 hours to tell them what he is doing.

9/2/2016
Sidney, Montana
Amanda
Mr. Faulhaber
I believe that the president needs Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria. I believe this because it isn't a serious threat to the United States at the moment. If it was a serious threat, I believe he would need to get permission to send troops. I don't believe the 1973 War Powers Act applies because it states that it was drafted to protect the United States for short periods of time but Syria is not posing a threat to us so there is no need to send troops there to protect us. Say Syria started to come after the United States and threaten us, then I think the War Powers Act would pertain to the situation.

9/2/2016
sidney montana
Michael T.
Mr. Lewis
No, the president should be able to do what he wants regardless of congress. If the untied states got hit with bombs right now i dont think he would be asking congress if we could strike back and defend. Hes the president he should be able to take his own action without asking permission. I think the act should not matter because if congress wants to take there sweet time something bad will happen. The president needs to take action into his own hands.

9/2/2016
Sidney, MT
Pesto
Sidney High School
I think we should attack them.

3/16/2016
Pennslyvania, PA
Waqar M.
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg SJHS
NO, it shouldn't be like that. If the situation is getting worse and worse in Syria and the president wants to take action, he should be allowed to do at his will. If he isn't allowed, then what's the point of being a president? It isn't fair if someone becomes President but yet is still being babysitting by Congress, where Congress can rule out the President. So I believe it was a good thing what our current President, Barack H. Obama, did instead of asking Congress.

10/9/2015
Loris/SC
Chad
Mr. Pennington
Yes, the President should seek Congress Approval. Syria is not a threat to the US in this case. Congress has a committee that evaluates these type of situations. We don't need to spend more money on a war that is not needed. Also risks the lives of out troops.

10/6/2015
Chester,SC
Erin
Billy Pennington/SouthCarolinaVirtualCharterSchool
I believe that the president needs the approval of Congress to take action in Syria. The 1973 Wars Power Act does not apply in this situation because Syria has not threatened the United States or our allies. The president should get approval from Congress before taking action because it could start a war and only Congress can declare war.

10/4/2015
barnwell sc
cody
mr. pennington/scvcs
i do believe he needs congress's approval before taking actions against Syria. if we are not under attack, then get the approval. if we were, then he would not need the approval. i do not believe the war powers act applies to Syria because we are not in danger.

10/3/2015
SC
Joshua
Mr. Pennington
Yes, I believe that that the president needs Congress approval. Even though it isn't a formal declaration of war, it could lead to the start of one. And the president doesn't have the right to solely decide what is best for the country. As it stands, the issue is very controversial and doesn't need to be taken lightly. An agreement reached by the president and Congress would be the best course of action.

10/2/2015
sc
Katherine
Pennington K12
Yes. I do believe that the president needs to have congress approval to use our military force in Syria. Obama does not live in the US by himself, so therefor i feel like he should be allowed to just declare war at anytime without others input.

9/30/2015
South Carolina
Hailey
Mr. Pennington
Yes! i do believe that the president needs congress' approval to use force in Syria so that he will not rule our army by himself. Congress is suppose to declare war and has the power to send in military forces, with the Presidents approval. The President shouldn't just be able to call for war.

11/14/2014
Stroudsburg/PA
Ben
Mr.Hanna/SJHS
I believe that the president does need approval to use force in Syria so he will not rule our army by himself. Congress should be aloud to vote in this so it is more of a fair call.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg
Sebastian
Mr.Hanna
I think the president shouldnt be able to send troops to Syria with out approval because then the president would have to much power over the army.

3/13/2014
Sidney/MT
Tori Hill
Faulhaber/Sidney High School
The issue is the different ways to look at Article I Section 8 of the Constitution and also the 1973 War Powers Act to use force in Syria, and whether the president can declare using force alone or with the approval of Congress. As Art. I Sec. 8 says, Congress shall have the power "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water." As the article said, that means Congress must make a formal declaration of war before a president can authorize military action against another country, in cases of a full-scale war. The 1973 War Powers Act allows the president to quickly deploy troops for short period to protect the US and defend national interests abroad, as long as he/she notifies Congress within 48 hours, and troops are barred from fighting for more than 90 days without congressional approval. Syria has not attacked or threatened the US or its allies, so it is hard to use the War Powers Act in this case. I agree with Garrett Epps of Baltimore Law School. I think in this case the president needs Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria. I also agree with Eric from Spring, TX. The 1973 War Powers Act does not apply as I have said because Syria does not pose an immediate threat to our national security. Besides, the president can make rash decisions like this that COULD lead to war, but with the help of Congress they may be able to think of a better solution to the problem.

11/11/2013
Spring/TX
Eric
Coach Norwood
Yes, the president must consult congress before using force in Syria. The war in Syria doesn't pose an immediate threat to our national security so he he needs to wait until congress decide what to do. There is much more at risk than one may think. If we strike Syria, it could be taken as an act of war and could spark a rampage among Syria's Shi'ite allies.

10/4/2013
Irving/TX
Annabel
Bradley/Nimitz
It is evident that the president does need Congress' approval in order to take military action against Syria. Since there is no clear threat on the safety of the United States, there is no way that the War Powers Act can be used to encourage the idea that the president does not need the approval of congress. However, if the terms "defend national interests abroad" in the War Powers Act want to be challenged, such a challenge ought to be supported with evidence that proves that our "national interests" are being threatened. As long as the United States and it's interests are not being threatened in any way by Syria, the President will have to continue seeking Congress' approval before launching an attack on Syria.

10/4/2013
Irving/Texas
David W.
Bradley/Nimitz HS
The president does need congress approval for a military strike on Syria due to the fact that there is not immediate threat to the United States. If the U.S. was in immediate danger, then the president, under the 1973 War Powers Act, could deploy troops for up to 90 days. Therefore, any action involving an unprovoked military attack on Syria without congress approval would be an unconstitutional act.

10/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Rudy
Bradley/Nimitz
The President does not need any congressional approval to take military action. He is empowered by The War Act of 1973. It grants the President the ability to take temporary military action against any threat. Although he has to notify Congress, he is not required to receive their approval get their approval. The War Act of 1973 was intended specifically like incidents similar to Syria. They need swift military action to prevent long drawn out conflict. The Executive Branch should be able to make executive decisions.

10/4/2013
irving/ texas
Adrian
bradley/ nimitz
I believe that the president should have to answer to the people, and congress, in its own way, is the voice of the people. The War Powers Act was made in 1973, it cannot apply to contemporary conditions. The invasion of Syria is unnecessary and unprovoked. We could use the war funds here at home in the U.S.A.

10/4/2013
Irving/Texas
Leanna
Bradley/Nimitz
In my opinion, the president needs to get Congress' approval. Obama cannot just attack without the Congress' consent. The 1973 War Powers Act cannot be implemented because the lack of direct harm towards the United States. The president must wait for the approval. so his actions do not become unconstitutional.

9/30/2013
New Milford/ PA
Amelia
Ms. Ross/ Blue Ridge High School
The President needs approval from Congress to use force in Syria. According to the War Powers Resolution, the President needs Congressional consent. Unfortunately, many presidents -in the past and today- pay less attention to Congress’ power involved with war-making. The President does have the authority to send military force for 60 days without legislative authority (only under crisis). In this reading, Garrett Epps makes a point that U.S. is not under attack, in danger, or in crisis. Although this is opinion, it shows that the president is not in a hurry to get troops out without consulting Congress first. If Obama really wants to launch an attack on Syria, he needs to get congressional approval. The War Powers Resolution is still enacted, so government should still abide by its rules.

9/27/2013
Watertown/MA
Lauren
Rimas/Watertown High School
I think that the president should have to get the approval from Congress to take military action against Syria, however due to the The 1973 War Powers Act, Obama does not need permissions from Congress. Taking military action against Syria would mean serious things for our country, which is why not just Obama should have a say in when we can and cannot step in to other country's issues.

9/27/2013
Watertown/ MA
Sam t
Mr.Rimas/Watertown High School
I believe the president should not go to war without approval of the congress. Our country is not in great danger for us to be going to war immediately.

9/27/2013
Watertown/ Ma
Joey K
Rimas/ Watertown High
I think that for the president to go to war he should get the approval from congress. Theres a couple reson to why i think that. First off Syria has not attacked or threatened the USA or our allies which gives us the right to just get into their business. Lastly it would unconstitutional for the president to go to war without the congress consent. This article states that "Congress must make a formal declaration of war before a president can authorize military action against another country. "

9/27/2013
Watertown, MA
Michael
Rimas, Watertown high school
Although it is in the best interest of the nation for Obama to get Congressional approval to use force in Syria the president does not have to. I personally believe that Obama should get the approval of Congress before he sends a military force to Syria. Unfortunately the 1973 War Powers Act grants Obama the power to send the military into Syria even without Congress. He only needs Congressional approval if war is to be officially declared.

9/27/2013
Watertown/Ma
Shannon C.
Rimas
I think for the president to go to war without congress' approval would be a big mistake. When a country goes to war both the people and its government should be completely agreed. In this case for the President to go to war without congress' consent would cause many problems because Mr. Obama wouldn't have a lot of verbal backup. Also it would be hard for him to convince the nation that he has our best interest in mind when our congress doesn't think so.

9/27/2013
MA
Anet
Rimas
I do think that the president should be getting approval from the congress because war is a big deal if it was something minor then i would understand if he didnt ask for their approval. But he does need to ask in cases like these

9/27/2013
Watertown
Ana
Rimas
The president needs the approval of Congress because having the president be allowed to declare war on other countries gives the president and the executive branch more power over the other branches.

9/25/2013
Watertown
Kevin
Rimas
The U.S. is constitutional and because of that, the congress has to approve of the attack in order to send troops or do any harm to Syria. The President cannot make such a big decision by himself that could possibly start war with the country he is suppose to protect.

9/25/2013
Watertown,MA
james
rimas
yes because Congress funds the attack

9/24/2013
Irving/Tx
Jordan Brewer
Bradley/Nimitz
To be constitutional the congress needs to approve of the attack on Syria. It clearly states that we have to declare to be able to do it. Even though the past wars have not been declared. With the old laws and the new laws, it should not matter what was it should still all apply now.

9/19/2013
Irving/Texas
Cyndel Solano
Bradley/Nimitz
The President does need approval of Congress’ for military action.He can’t and should not overstep his power and respect the decision made by Congress’. We are not being targeted or involved to the point of endangering our citizens or overseas station troops ,so we should not act upon actions that don't proof to be a threat to us. Honestly we should not get involved in an issue that is not directly involving us.We will end up becoming the big bully just how it was when we tried to protect the Northern Hemisphere from European powers. We should instead add pressure to the United Nations for them to take action since its an internal problem. We as a nation would “help” them more this way than by us getting involved in their affairs by using our militarily power against them.

9/19/2013
Irving/Tx
Pedro
Bradley/Nimitz
The president does need Congress' approval for military approval. I don't think that the 1973 War Powers Act apply here. Syria isn't threatening the United States by harming their own people with weapons of mass destruction. The way I see it, we shouldn't be getting involved with Syria unless if there's a direct threat against the United States. We should just let Syria deal with it and stop trying to "help" other countries by stationing troops in their countries.

9/18/2013
Vacaville/CA
Elizabeth G.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I personally believe that the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to Syria, because Syria is not actually an imminent threat to the United States, though they might be a possible threat in the future. That being said, Obama is perfectly capable of making a persuasive argument for the application of the War Powers Act to military action if he really is determined to take it. If Obama were to succeed in justifying Syria under the War Powers Act, he would be safe from being declared unconstitutional.

9/18/2013
Vacaville/California
Alan M.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
In a technical viewpoint, President Obama reserves the right to authorize military action against Syria without congressional approval. He can simply rely on the standing of the 1973 War Powers Act, which allows him to send troops on “police duty” to foreign countries. Remember, Obama told the American people that he would only perform a quick air strike on Syria, saying that he “would not put American feet on Syrian soil.” However, President Bashir Assad would have to be deliberately using chemical weapons to attack or threaten American or allied troops, or American interests, for Obama to have a good diplomatic reason to teach the “presidential” dictator a lesson; but since this is not the case, the War Powers Act does not really apply. In a moral sense, Obama would probably be more successful in striking Syria if he won Congress’ approval first. By taking this action, he is persuading other people of high power to agree with him and support him on the matter, rather than the president simply acting himself. If Obama does that, it will make him look more like a dictator than a president, and his popularity may take an exponential dive. If he wins congressional approval, it proves to the rest of the world that the majority of American people want the United States to take action against Syria. Technically, Obama might be able to pull a military strike on his own, but it is morally right that he seek congressional approval first.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, California
Jamaal W.
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
Jamaal Ward Mr. Hawkins American Gov. September 18, 2013 Recently Obama asked for congress’ permission to authorize a military strike on the Assad regime due to the chemical warfare usage by the Syrian president. At first I saw this strategy of Obamas a bit hostile and unessicary , especially since there have been no threats towards the U.S. However seeing that this strategy o his has worked, and we haven’t even delivered the strike, I applaud Obama. The question at hand however was, does Obama need congress’ approval to authorize the strike. My answer would be yes, if Obama took matters in his own hands, that would be a form of dictatorship. Not to mention that we act stronger as a whole rather than a piece.

9/18/2013
Vacaville/California
Chris S
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet Highschool
President Obama is within his rights as commander-in-chief to take military action against Syria according to the 1973 War Powers Act. The act allows him to deploy troops for no longer than 60 days without the approval of congress in order to defend the nation interests of the United States. The national interest in question is the violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is a U.N. agreement signed by the United States. Syria has not signed this agreement, but that doesn’t stop the violation from impeding on U.S. ideology. The War Powers Act was first used to justify U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War and Korean War. The reason for this intervention was to protect the U.S. interest, or ideology, in capitalism and stop the spread of communism. An intervention in Syria would be a similar situation; Syria doesn’t pose a threat to the U.S., but it does pose a threat to our ideology.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Devon
Mr. Hawkkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
One could say that Obama has good intentions for he is running to congress for approval. You might say that he needs reassurance that he is doing the right thing. As the president of the U.S it is not Obama’s job to “police” the world. Granted he is trying to do a good deed for the people of Syria but one might questions why he wants to interfere with another country when it has nothing to do with the U.S directly. Obama’s reasoning is that it could lead to potential threats to the United States. It could potentially be a threat to the people and Obama is trying to stop it in his tracts. In a sense the president is married to congress. Just as a man needs his wife for support, Obama needs congress. This could form potential allies of Syria to declare attack on the states. We should not be getting into war when our economy is so far down. We are still recovering from our last war in Iraq. If our economy was built back up and stable as it once was before our last war, I would encourage to catch Syria right in the middle of its wrong doing and peruse going to Syria and taking their chemical weapons away, but we are not financially fit to form a potential war that can drag us even down more than we already are.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Elisa A.
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham charter Magnet High School
The presidente does not necessarily need Congress’s approval. But it was a smart move to ask. It would just anger the people and Congress and it would give President Obama a bad image. Especially since this is a risky decision, because this can start an all out war. The outcome, if Congress does indeed approve, can be disastrous. This might not just end as a simple and quick military strike, and if it does become a war, President Obama will not be the only one to blame.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Marissa
Mr. Hawkins / Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
Technically, the president does not need to address Congress in order to use force in Syria. The War Powers Act of 1973 is pretty unclear about whether or not Congress gets a vote on Syria. Some may argue that the War Powers Act actually grants the president “limited” military action overseas. Since it is not technically a declaration of war, no, the president does not necessarily need to receive formal authorization from Congress. But just because he may not need approval, doesn't mean he should take action. Congress sees it from the interest of the people and it would be a wise decision to wait to see what they have to say. Congress may choose to not take action, but if conditions continue to worsen in Syria, the president doesn't have to adhere to that decision.

9/18/2013
Vacaville / CA
Johnny M.
Mr. Hawkins / Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
The president does not technically need Congress’ approval to use military force. The 1973 War Powers Act says that the president can deploy troops for short periods of time to protect the United States and defend national interests abroad. As Syria’s leader kills his people with weapons of mass destruction, he is attacking our national interests abroad. As long as Obama sends only a strike of the military, he does not need Congress’ approval. Although Syria has not explicitly attacked or threatened us or our Allies; which would invalidate the 1973 War Powers Act, by using chemical weapons that were prohibited from future wars is threatening us by showing that Syria is willing to break the rules. This gives Obama the right to apply the 1973 War Powers Act in Syria. Nevertheless, if Obama wants to be successful and keep the American people on his side, he needs Congress to back him up. It is wise of him to wait for the endorsement of Congress. With that support he will be supported by the country that he leads. If Obama made the military strike without Congress, the people may view him as a power-thirsty dictator who merely cares about his dominance over other nations. He would surely not survive another term and might even be thrown out of office. Worst case scenario, Obama would lose the support of everybody which would throw him out of office. Technically Obama does not need the approval of Congress and he could use the 1973 War Powers Act to carry it out; but it is an important thing to have if he wants to be successful and prevent internal problems.

9/18/2013
Vacaville/California
Ryan R
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
President Obama needs to get the approval from Congress before taking military action against Syria. Obama can’t assume that just because he believes that the usage of chemical weapons in Syria is against moral values that he can just launch the US into another potential war. The events in Syria haven’t directly threatened or affected the US in any way that should persuade us to take military action. There is no point in deploying troops into Syria. Not only would we lose soldiers, but we’d put ourselves into millions or billions of dollars of debt. Most politicians and government officials are saying that they don’t believe that we should take military action against Syria. Obama is in the minority of this opinion when it comes to wanting to take military action. Unless Syria threatens the US or does something that directly affects us, Obama shouldn't take military action.

9/18/2013
Vacaville/ California
Melanie D.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
The President should ask for Congress’ approval. If he wants the country to back him up, then government needs to be together on attacking country’s. Since most the people are aganst war in the first place, if he hadn’t asked Congress’ permission then so many people would not want the war, so then he would be forcing most of America to go to war, full force. However, if Congress says yes, then more Americans would be united on that dicision. More people would trust two groups rather then one. Also if he wants to start a full out war, latter on, he is going to need Congress on his side, he needs as many brownie points as he can get. But tecnically he doesn’t need Congress’ approval.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Gabe L.
Mr.Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I believe that the U.S. president does need congresses approval to take action against Syria. The U.S. and our interests are not in immediate danger so the 1973 War Powers act does not allow us to take immediate action. I understand there is a major conflict in Syria, but it is not necessarily our problem to fix it at this point. If Syria were to declare war on Israel or threaten the U.S. by launching missiles to our homeland this would now be a different story. Actions like this would threaten the U.S. and our interests, thus allowing the president to take action against Syria. Unless the Congress wants to formally declare war on Syria, Obama should not have the power to attack Syria.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Jonathan G.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
President Obama is fully capable of calling military action into Syria, but I can speculate reasons as to why he would want to persuade Congress first. He knows it is morally right to retaliate for the Syrian people but would it be right in the grand scheme of things? I am very sure that one of the reasons that he is trying to persuade Congress is that he wants the majority of the Legislative branch on his side. Their reluctance would cause a dissonance in the political dynamic of the American people in an already controversial topic. The American people feel that he has his nose in foreign conflict when he should be worrying about problems in the US. This conflict is viewed as something that should be handled in association with the United Nations, yet President Obama is trying to take matters into his own hands. However this is a very controversial topic and the people will be divided anyway. As mentioned before, President Obama does have the ability to summon military action and there could be international repercussions if he chooses not to interfere. Chemical warfare could still continue and mass genocide could go without batting an eye. The United Nations may decide for the betterment of the bigger picture that interfering with such a conflict would be bad. President Obama may then find a moral obligation to side with the Syrian people and overthrow the Assad regime. One thing we have to recognize is that in such a complex situation there is no right or wrong answer.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Matthew H.
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
To ask or not to ask, that is the question. There are two key aspects to consider before formulating an appropriate opinion. According to the 1973 War Powers Act, President Obama does not need to ask for the approval of Congress to strike Syria. Is the President striking Syria “to protect the United States?” Many suggest that Syria poses no threat to the nation. However, the second condition says to “defend national interests abroad.” Throughout history, the United States has proven time and time again to protect, support, and defend those with no voice by intervening from Vietnam to Libya. In this case, the public interest is not on the side of striking Syria. Truly, President Obama is seeking the approval for Congress. Why? Is it due to the fact that the President is suggesting that the U.S. military strike that should take less than 90 days might lead to a full-scale war? In that scenario, the President will be required under the U.S. Constitution to seek Congress’ declaration of war. On the other hand, the President may be taking a precautionary step to not only protect his public image and public support but to do the “right thing.” What is the “right thing?” Either way, the President will be entering a slippery slope open to relentless criticism from all sides. The War Power Act suggests that there must be a national justification for striking Syria. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution suggests that Congress has the right and power to declare war in a situation deemed to be a site of full-scale warfare. In the end, based on one’s perception, one may say that the President may need or not need to ask Congress before taking military action against Syria. In my professional opinion, the President does not need the approval of Congress for a one-time military strike; but if the President wants to gain the support of the legislative branch just in case the situation turns into war, then he will certainly need the support of Congress.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Benjamin G.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
This big issue that people are discussing today could easily have been resolved as soon as it began. However, people felt the need to overcomplicate the idea and add questions that didn’t need to be answered. The Syrian problem simply did not need to happen and President Obama did not need Congressional approval to fix it. If President Obama had simply made a swift strike on Syria after the attack he could have kept his reputation the same while also avoiding the now public struggle that has become overcomplicated making it much too late for him to even attempt a strike of the nature that he is suggesting. If he had proceeded quickly As someone like Reagan had with Libya using a swift and concentrated strike, not necessarily to cause an extreme amount of damage, but to send a clear message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. However, instead of doing that he decided to wait and take his time in trying to get what he wanted done drawing out the controversy allowing too much time for people to question and poke at his idea so that now it would be impossible for it to ever happen. Also something like the War Powers Act could have easily been used in a situation such as this to finish what needed to be done and punish those who were violation our international laws. At this point however if the President were to follow through with his proposed strike there are too many countries with too many opinions that have already been voiced at this point it time would upset countries such as Russia or China which could lead to an all-out war. Whereas if this had been dealt with quickly and decisively this whole discussion would already be over and there would not be so much controversy.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Lance R.
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
In reality, President Obama does not need the approval of Congress to use force in Syria. Although he does not necessarily need it, should he still get the approval? I believe that Obama should get the approval of Congress because the voices of the people will be more heard. The citizens of the United States call their local governments and then those governments call their upper levels of government, and so forth. With this “domino effect,” the voices of the citizens will be heard throughout Congress, which can ultimately persuade the Congress’ decision based on the majority of the will of the people. After all, the purpose of government is to serve the will of the people. If Obama does not get the approval from Congress, there would be an uproar of complaints from the citizens. You can think of this situation as a teenager going to hangout with some friends. The teenager should ask their parents if they can go hangout with friends, but the teenager does not necessarily have to ask them. The teenager may receive consequences for not asking his/her parents but still, they did not have to inform or get the approval of their parents. I know this situation is a lot different from the issue with Syria, but the principle of getting the approval is identical. Obama does not need the approval of Congress, but will result in many citizens complaining and losing interest with the president. Basically, in order to listen and keep the peace with the citizens, President Obama should get the “okay” from Congress. In addition, I believe the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to the use of force in Syria. Under the act, the president has the power to send troops no longer than ninety days in order to protect the United States and its national interests. Neither are being threatened, so the act is invalid. However, if the situation in Syria spreads to the United States’ allies, such as Israel, then the act would be valid, but not with the current state of Syria.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Gabe L.
Mr.Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I believe that the U.S. president does need congresses approval to take action against Syria. The U.S. and our interests are not in immediate danger so the 1973 War Powers act does not allow us to take immediate action. I understand there is a major conflict in Syria, but it is not necessarily our problem to fix it at this point. If Syria were to declare war on Israel or threaten the U.S. by launching missiles to our homeland this would now be a different story. Actions like this would threaten the U.S. and our interests, thus allowing the president to take action against Syria. Unless the Congress wants to formally declare war on Syria, Obama should not have the power to attack Syria.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Jessica W.
Mr. Hawkins / Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
Does the president need Congress’ approval before talking military action against Syria? Well, in my opinion, yes. To also answer your second question, I don’t believe that the 1973 War Powers Act applies to this situation with Syria. The 1973 War Powers Act allows the president “to quickly deploy troops for short periods to protect the United States and defend national interests abroad.” Syria hasn't attacked the US one bit. In fact, we are the ones who are interfering with them due to moral issues about the chemical gas use on their citizens. So because we’re not necessarily getting attacked, Obama can’t take action without congress. But that brings up the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8. This article states that the president has to get congressional approval to make a declaration of war and authorize military action on any situation. See, this Syria thing falls into the grey area because the president isn’t necessarily declaring war on them either. In his speech, Obama clearly stated that he only plans to quickly strike Syria and then return to America. There’s a slight problem to that, and I think that’s the reason he went to congress for this military act. If we decide snake bite them like that, and just decide to leave, how can we assume that they won’t retaliate and strike back? We can’t. Think about September 11th; when Al Qaeda attacked the US, we went to war with them right away. We are essentially doing the same thing, so there is definitely a threat that this will bring a war upon us, even though that is not in our intentions. So, in summary, Obama technically couldn't pose any threat to Syria without congress’ help, which is why this movement it the hot topic on government today.

9/18/2013
Vacaville/California
Derek P.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet Highschool
Due to the circumstances of the situation it would be in Obama’s best interest to procure Congress’ backing before engaging in any form of conflict for any period of time. Okay let’s say in the case that he didn’t get congress backing first there is little doubt that people would be more inclined to be against his action and any further negotiations with Syria may not be taken seriously by Bashir Assad. Yet on the other hand if Obama doesn’t wait for congress and proceeds then it may also be viewed as the leader of our country doing his job… leading our country and so this may force Assad to realize he is not just dealing with a bunch of squabbling politicians and that we mean what we say. Overall I must say that a great deal of this issue depends on the mind of the individual reading about it. To conclude this I would like to point out that there is no 100% right answer not everyone thinks the same thing and so no matter the choice it will always have people in agreement and those in disagreement.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Donald P.
Mr. Hawkins / Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
Under the War Powers Act, the president possesses the authority to engage military action in Syria. With the strike suggested by President Obama, Congressional approval is not needed as it will not take 90 days to complete. However, the fact that President Obama is approaching Congress for approval suggests that he has some reservations about his proposed strike. If we look back to Afghanistan in 2001, the United States Military had Osama Bin Laden cornered with no escape. We opted to bomb the target area heavily, but when the smoke settled, Bin Laden had disappeared. It took another decade to find the terrorist leader and our troops are still in Afghanistan. President Obama is no fool and is a student of history. Perhaps President Obama realizes that a quick, powerful, targeted and decisive military strike with boots on the ground is the correct solution and simply suggested a bombing campaign to appeal to the American people. If President Obama seeks Congressional approval and a strike is approved, President Obama will have the power to put boots on the ground and finish the job when the bombing campaign fails or has inconclusive results. Regardless if this is the case or not and regardless if we should strike against Syria or not, President does possess the authority to engage in military action in Syria.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, California
Aareka D.
Mr. Hawkins /Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
Seeing that the Syrian government is not a threat to our U.S territory, I feel that we have no reason to intrude into their affairs. Technically the President can call for offense to Syria. However I feel that congress should be involved in the decision. I admire that the President thought of the consequences of his decision before issuing an attack on Syria. It was smart of him to get Congress involved even though he has the right to do it on his own. The last war we were in was a result of a president taking matters into his own hand. I feel that any decision made by the president should be passed by congress.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Mason C.
Mr. Hawkins/Buckingham Charter Magnet Highschool
My opinion, on this topic, is that president Obama doesn’t need Congresses approval for sending in troops into Israel. The only thing reason that he would need Congresses approval is if he wants to attack Syria, but if he is just sending in troops just to protect Israel, and not to attack Syria, then he doesn’t need approval. Israel has had some hard times in recent days with Syria, I’ll admit, but that doesn’t mean that we just have to let them suffer. Israel has been our ally for years and we’ve always helped them with their problems. People have called America the “world’s police”. Now that statement is semi-true. We have been in a lot of wars that we technically shouldn’t have been in, but we got involved and we, eventually, beat the enemy to leave the country/countries that they were fighting with alone. I mean, sure we have our own problems, but that doesn’t mean that we can just sit back and let our allies/ the rest of the world fall. If anything, we should help out our allies, and that includes Israel. We don’t have to start a war with Syria, but we can just protect Israel from being attacked by chemical weapons again. Now, if Syria gets cocky and decides to attack Israel, then Obama should get Congresses approval for war. Then we can put an end to this chemical warfare against Israel.

9/18/2013
Vacaville, CA
Morgan C.
Mr. Hawkins/ Buckingham Charter Magnet High School
I definitely think that the president needs Congress’ approval in order to attack Syria. Because Syria is not directly threatening our country, or our people in any way the president is unable to apply the 1973 War Powers Act. Another reason the president cant enable the 1973 War Powers Act is because he is not looking to declare war, his intentions are to go in, attack, keep them from using malicious weaponry, and leave. This does not correspond with what the 1973 Wars Power Act was put in place for. Although Syria is not threatening us now, what will happen if we will attack? Do we expect the Syrians to let us attack them, or will they retaliate and attack us? Are we prepared to go into a full blown war with Syria who has access to malicious chemical weapons that they are capable of turning on us? I believe that these questions should be considered and answered by congress, and not be left for the president to take into his own hands without these questions being taken into consideration.

9/17/2013
Washington/New Jersey
June
Rokosny/Warren Hills Regional High School
Obama is absolutely entitled to authorize military strikes without Congress' approval, but it is in our best interest to avoid taking unnecessary measures in a misguided attempt to correct a tyrannical dictator. He should not act until he has been given approval by Congress and other diplomatic measures have been exhausted. In this way, his actions will more accurately reflect the interests of the nation while unifying the country behind his efforts. Additionally, the War Powers Act, like many pieces of legislation passed during times of war, leaves a lot open to interpretation. However, many would argue that it does not apply to Syria because it does pose an immediate threat to our national interests. Though the attacks in Syria are certainly a tragedy, Obama must suppress his urge to "help" the Syrians to avoid even greater tragedy.

9/17/2013
Washington, New Jersey
Kanisha
Rokosny/Warren Hills Reg. HIgh School
Many have expressed concern about the events occurring in Syria and have expressed their opinion about what they believe the President's actions should be. Some have said that the President is seeking the approval of Congress as a security blanket against the results. Anything that may happen as a result of the president’s actions, whether the results are positive or negative, would have the approval and the support of Congress behind the decision that he made. In the case that the limited strikes against Syria heads south, President Barack Obama he will be able to claim that he had the full support of Congress, thereby lessening any blame that may be placed on him. Now, is the situation in Syria, really a matter for US concern? The President does have the right to send troops, according to the War Powers Act, in the event of a threat against United States security. However, there is nothing going on in Syria that may permit the involvement of the United States. Syria has not threatened the United States and there is no direct threat to our national security. The President feels that we have a moral obligation to the people of Syria to defend against the heinous usage of chemical weapons. The president does not plan to enact in full scale war against Syria, which would have to be declared by Congress. . Yet if there is no direct influence on the safety of US citizens, then technically, the War Powers Act becomes invalid in this situation. The legal reasoning behind the President sending limited attacks and bombings into Syria is sketchy at best. If in fact, Obama does not have the legal backing of the War Powers Act, then gaining the approval of Congress beforehand is a necessity. If Obama does in fact have the legal reasoning for action in Syria, then no harm is done. So now the next question to be asked should be whether or not President Obama should embark on an attack against Syria in the first place.

9/17/2013
Washington, New Jersey
Dustin
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills
President Obama does not need to seek congress’s approval due to the powers and rights guaranteed to the President through the War Powers Act. This allows the president as commander in chief to utilize his military to protect the nation’s national interests and the safety of our country without the consent from congress. It is clear that both of these reasons apply to the brewing crisis in Syria. In a current state of civil war, the Assad Regime is engaging in the illegal use of chemical warfare on innocent civilians. This is a direct violation of international law. As a global power, the United States has to protect its interests and the world’s interest by displaying their objection to the use of these chemical weapons. Under the War Powers Act unauthorized military action can be used just for this reason. By utilizing the military to destroy or neutralize chemical weapons, President Obama can display our nation’s major interest. Although the United States was not directly afflicted by Assad’s regime, our nation is threatened due to the fact that an unstable dictatorship has these weapons ready to use. The target of these chemical weapons is not limited to only the people of Syria, these weapons can be used on any country in the world, including the United States. According to the War Powers Act, when our country is endangered in any way the President is allowed to take military action without congress’s approval. All in all, President Obama has all the reason and power to engage the American military without Congress’s consent in this time of crisis abroad, but whether it is the right choice or not, is a totally different question.

9/17/2013
texas
marissa
throten
I honestly dont think we should be getting involved in their fight it could cause us to be in great danger i understand that it is wrong for them to hurt innocent people but they could attack us and we would lose innocent people

9/17/2013
Washington, New Jersey
Arthur
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills Regional High School
Simply put, Obama does not need Congressional approval before taking military action against Syria as clarified by the 1973 War Powers Act. I do not see why this act would not apply to Syria as President Obama's plan is identified as a military action and not a declaration of war. However, I do find it to be a very political move by the President to have asked Congress for their approval for the sake of covering himself from any future criticisms. By having the approval of Congress under his belt, President Obama is able to somewhat reassuringly bomb Syria and be able to deflect any negative press if the situation were to get out of hand some way or another. Not only is he able to cover himself by doing this, but he is also able to seem to be a more honest, impartial leader to the people.

9/17/2013
Washington?NJ
Sai
Rokosny/Warren Hills
I feel that the President does not need to have Congress' approval to take military action in Syria. Since the lives of innocent lives are at stake the President should take action sooner than later. Congress may take a while to deliberate and in this time the Syrian civilians would be left defenseless against Assad's attacks. Although, the actions taken by Al-Assad in Syria may not seem like a direct threat the outcome could end up having dire consequences for America. If these chemical attacks are dealt with then other countries will feel that the use of chemical weapons is tolerable. Since Assad violated international law, he is now a war criminal and his crimes against defenseless civilians should be taken lightly. The safety of the US may be at risk and at this point US is morally obligated to intervene.

9/17/2013
Washington/NJ
John
Rokosny/Warren Hills
In this event in which America is not directly threatened by the civil war in Syria, our President should be forced to first have authorization from Congress before taking military action against Syria directly due to the fact that national security is not at stake. The 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to this situation with Syria since the act is to "allow the President to quickly deploy troops...to protect the United States and defend national interests abroad", and by deploying USA missiles upon Syria, we are in no means protecting our nation or defending national interests. Yes, our interests lie in the moral values of protecting people against an immoral use of weaponry - chemical weapons, but in order to act upon the injustice, Obama should do so at the consent of Congress first. By allowing our president to strike other nations with weaponry in the event of any dispute occurring in foreign nations, we are tipping the scales of the checks and balances system by supplying the executive branch an unconstitutional amount of power to make enemies, kill other people, etc. all without the people's consent. Our government is not a participatory democracy, a theocracy, a dictatorship but of a system of representatives, and with that being said, Obama should act according to the representatives especially in a situation where our national security is not at risk thus no policies point to the President being given the capability to willingly launch strikes upon nations in a civil war even if said nation's government is acting immorally. Approval is needed first.

9/17/2013
New Jersey
Erik
Warren Hills High School
As it seems, The United States is once again involving itself in a conflict from which there is no decent outcome, The decision to use military action against the Assad regime of Syria is not only an unjust action it is an unintelligent one. Simply put, we cannot involve ourselves in this conflict because doing so would ally ourselves with one of these factions both of which are hostile towards America. It has been like this since the war started 2 years ago, we avoided any involvement because of lessons learned in previous wars such as Afghanistan and Iraq. But now it seems as we have become blinded as a result of these recent gas attacks. While it is certainly a tragedy and all diplomatic options must be exhausted, military action is not going to benefit us in any way. By bombing the Assad regime we would be supporting the revolutionaries who currently oppose him, that is to say Al-Qaeda and the other radical Jihadist groups in the area. In the post 9/11 world there is absolutely no acceptable reason for allying ourselves with any Jihadist group. That is the number one reason(and also the most unsung) that the US must pursue no military options in Syria.

9/17/2013
Washington/ New Jersey
Isaac
Rokosny/ Warren Hills Regional High School.
I feel that President Obama has the authority as commander in chief to authorize military strikes in syria. As our elected national representative he has the power to use the powers set forth to him to fulfill the role as commander in chief. I feel however that we, as a nation, have the obligation to prevent additional violence by pursuing all diplomatic options prior to militaristic ones. I also feel that President Obama should also pursue congressional support in the interest of seeking additional support from others whom are elected. This will both unify national efforts and seek to prevent executive abuse of power. Obama should still act as he sees fit, but not at least until congressional consensus is reached and he is advised on their position.

9/17/2013
Washington/ New Jersey
Isaac
Rokosny/ Warren Hills Regional High School.
I feel that President Obama has the authority as commander in chief to authorize military strikes in syria. As our elected national representative he has the power to use the powers set forth to him to fulfill the role as commander in chief. I feel however that we, as a nation, have the obligation to prevent additional violence by pursuing all diplomatic options prior to militaristic ones. I also feel that President Obama should also pursue congressional support in the interest of seeking additional support from others whom are elected. This will both unify national efforts and seek to prevent executive abuse of power. Obama should still act as he sees fit, but not at least until congressional consensus is reached and he is advised on their position.

9/17/2013
Washington/ NJ
Jacob
Mrs. Rokosny/Warren Hills Regional High School
As President Obama makes his final decision on whether or not The United States should use military force on the Assad regime, he formally does not need to wait for congress' approval. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 made this quite clear. However, I believe that President Obama did the right thing when he asked for approval to take action. This showed not only that the President feels that Congress should be involved in the decision making whenever it comes to foreign military action, but will also bolster democratic ideals if the people of the United States feel that their own representatives are making the decision, not just the president. So in summary, my answer is a no President Obama does not need congressional approval, but in his eyes and mine it was necessary that he did ask for it.

9/17/2013
Washington/NJ
Evan
Rokosny/Warren Hills
President Obama most certainly does not need congress approval to use force in Syria. While he would need congress approval to declare war, as the country's commander and chief, he has all the power to use American troops as he wishes. Whether he SHOULD use the troops is a completely different question. At the moment, we haven't exhausted all diplomatic options, and until we do, I see no reason to use violence. Once we are one hundred percent sure that the use of the international help will not work, and once all diplomatic advances towards the cause are used up, we should use troops. By this time, I'm sure congress will have no problem issuing Obama a declaration of war.

9/17/2013
Washington/ New Jersey
Amanda
Mrs. Rokosny Warren Hills
Since the United States is not in danger of being attacked I believe that the War Powers Act do not apply. Therefore President Obama does need Congress' approval to use force in Syria.

9/17/2013
Irving/Texas
Emily
Bradley/Nimitz
I don't believe President Obama should engage a full on war on Syria. Congress has the power to declare war and the need for war is unnecessary. Syria has not threatened the United States like North Korea has nor attacked U.S troops. United Citizens are not in harm and neither is the world. Every country has its revolts and it's not the job of the Unites States to intervene in every little conflict. The United States has to many problems to be going to war with Syria. Another unnecessary war would result in another Vietnam.

9/16/2013
North Carolina
Huma Khursheed
NCVPS/Ward
He needs congressional approval especially since it is an upopular conflict that most Americans do not want to be involved in. Sure, he is the President but he answers to his people. And do we want to divide the country again like we did with the Vietnam War? That was disastrous. All we were doing was simply "guarding" another country from its own political problems yet we were not able to end communism once and for all. We can't end the evils in the world, sadly. We do have to do something but I'm not sure if a military conflict is the best way to go at it. I don't think there IS a best way in this situation. That is why we need other leaders' opinions - it is difficult to form an opinion when I know nothing of what is truly going on in Syria. I believe the media should do a better job at informing us instead of crying out "war!" every time Obama speaks about the issue.

9/14/2013
Houston / Texas
Dakota
Paula Hutchinson / St. Stephen's Episcopal
The president does not have Constitutional authority to wage any kind of military action against Syria because of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. It states that the president is only allowed to use military force if the United States or its citizens are under direct attack. Because there is no directs danger, an attack cannot be justified on these premises. Although this may be said, in the Resolution, there is second part that states that the president has a 60 day window in which military force is allowed for whatever he may chooses but after those 60 days, congressional approval must be gained or the military must be returned to the US.

9/14/2013
Irving/TX
Matt M.
Bradley/Nimitz
While I do not condemn president Obama for wanting to take action on the horrific events occurring in Syria, I do not believe a drone strike is the best and most efficient solution at this time. Action does need to be taken. Anytime a tyrannical leader is using weapons of such a tortuous magnitude, much less on his own people including women and children, resolution is necessary. But at what point does the US stop coming to everybody's rescue and help show other nations people how to stand up for themselves? History has proven that in situations like these, America never comes out positively, Vietnam being a prime example. We think what we do in these countries is beneficial, but what inherently happens is we anger both sides and loose young Americans in the process. And these so called "precise drone strikes", well how "precise" are they really? Collateral damage happens and now we accidentally killed a couple civilians. Both sides are angry at us and now we have an even bigger problem on our hands. In no way would it be easy for a rebellion to take place for the people of Syria, but nothing worth fighting for is. As far as President Obama having to gain approval from congress on this issue, I believe he should and he has said he would. That being said, I do believe Obama needs congresses approval on non domestic attacks and military action. And although he probably could get around gaining congresses approval with the war powers act, he is taking the extra step anyway for the greater good of the people. It shows a great deal about his leadership that he is seeking others opinions rather than just his own.

9/13/2013
Irving/TX
Yamilleth
Bradley/Nimitz
President Obama should have Congress's approval before taking any military action. Because of documents like the War Powers Act of 1973, and because he does not have the support of Congress (and the citizens of the nation). Also the only way that the President would be able to send in US troops would be if the U.S was under attack, or if Congress Declares War (we haven't "officially" since WWII). Right now Obama has talked about a diplomatic ways of handling things. He should also take into account the threats from Russia and Iran to take action against the U.S, in support of Syria if we were to attack. He should take into account the fact that Bashar al-Assad says he is willing to "give up" his control over the chemical weapons, and he should take into account if the small amount of troops we send over would even have any effect or do any good to the Syrian people, or if it would cause more damage for the citizens of Syria.

9/13/2013
sidney Montana
Jeni Cutler
Brad Faulhaber
obama should be doing something about this attack on the President Bashir did to his own people of his country, yes he needs congress approveal to authorize the use of force in syria today. i dont think he dose becuase who would put attack on your own people and try to kill them, Obama should be doing something about it, because its not right to put attack on your own people and get away with it..

9/13/2013
Irving/Texas
Teven
Bradley/Nimitz
Though the president does not require the approval of Congress before taking military action against Syria, he should exercise restraint, as previous presidents have not. President Obama could, if desired, provide a point of view that would encourage intervention in Syria. The War Powers Act of 1973 is not constitutional in the first place. Similar unconstitutional act have been passed in times when the population was unified against a single idea, for example, the USSR during the Cold War.

9/13/2013
Sidney, Montana
Layne
Mr. Faulhaber
I feel like the US gets involved in a lot of issues, that would be better we just stay out of.

9/13/2013
Houston/TX
MaryEvans
Paula/St. Stephen's Episcopal School-Houston
President Obama has no legal authority to launch any type of attack and/or strike on Syria with out Congressional Approval. Both the Constitution and the War Powers of Act of 1973 uphold this. The Constitution allows the president to order troops to fight when the country appears to be in risk of an imminent attack-which is not the current situation. The War Powers Act clarifies the President’s Constitutional powers as Commander and Chief about when he may exercise this position: 1) A Declaration of War, 2) a specific statutory authorization, and 3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. None of these conditions have taken place. It also states that the purpose of the Act is to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution. One of the framers of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, spoke about the president’s power as the Commander and Chief, “[He may have] the direction of war when authorized or begun.” Nothing has been authorized or begun by Congress, which the Act also requires the President to consult Congress in every possible instance before introducing the armed forces into hostilities.

9/13/2013
Irving/TX
Reyanna
Bradley/Nimitz
Even though the 1973 War Powers Act does not apply to Syria, I think that Obama should wait until Congress gives him approval to declare war because there is no real threat to us. Rushing into war too fast can cause major issues. The American citizens as well as Congress disapprove of going in to war when we have not been threatened. If Syria had threatened us it would be a different story, but Obama should wait until a more serious issue comes up before he declares war that the United States does not need.

9/13/2013
Irving/TX
Marissa
Bradley/Nimitz
In order to declare war on Syria, the President needs Congressional consent. The Constituton states that the President cannot declare war without Congressional consent because of the separation of powers. And the 1973 War Power Act does not apply because there is no direct threat to the American people.

9/13/2013
Irving/Tx
Seth
Bradley/Nimitz
The president does need the congress approval in order for it not to be called unconstitutional. If the president were to not seek confirmation or acceptance to attack there would be a serious problem in violating our constitutional laws and not only would there be a war on our hands there would be a home problem to. What i mean by home is america as a nation would have a problem. The 1973 war powers act does not apply to Syria because congress has not made any type of statement or decision on launching an attack. If the would have made a decision then it would apply.

9/12/2013
Irving/TX
Hailey
Bradley/Nimitz
I think it is necessary for the President to have Congress’ approval to declare war. I don’t think the President has the right to make such a huge decision on his own. We haven’t been threatened or attacked by Syria, but we have been told that if we go to war they will fight back. I don’t think we should go to war with a country who hasn’t been attacking or threatening us, because in the end we are putting our citizens and country in danger. Since we haven’t been threatened or attacked it would be difficult to say that the 1973 World Powers Act would apply, so Congress’ approval would be needed. The World Powers Act is only to be used for short periods of time and we have no idea of knowing how long this will last, since Syria has said they will fight back if we attack. I think it is unnecessary to put ourselves in the middle of a chaotic situation that has nothing to do with us.

9/12/2013
Irving/Tx
Alonzo
Bradley/Nimitz
President Obama needs Congress approval to declare military action against Syria in my opinion. As the 1973 Powers Act says " Congress must make a formal declaration of war before president can authorize military action against another country." Our government was created to have 3 equal Branches, The Judicial branch, Executive Branch, and Legislative Branch. The President or the executive branch shouldn't be able to declare war without the other two branches approving. Yes i Understand what Syria is doing in not acceptable but there is other ways to solve this problem. If president Obama does decide to follow this without the congress approval it will lead to many problems for not only our government but us as Americans.

9/12/2013
Irving/Texas
Christian S
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes President Obama needs the congress to approve military action on Syria. The United States has been neglecting the fact that you need congress to approve wars, no matter what a country is doing they must approve also the united states is still getting involved in things that they should not, unless we are brought in to it we should go.The united states has been at war for far to long and that has not made any situation any better. And i agree with Epps its up to congress not the president.

9/12/2013
Irving/Texas
Laura G
Bradley/Nimitz HS
I feel that the President should have the approval of Congress before any decision is made dealing with our recent problems with Syria because it is constitutional. The War Powers Act of 1973 should not be an excuse for America to use force in Syria. Syria has not threatened the United States, which makes the 1973 War Powers Act a challenge to use in this case. Although I might not agree with what Syria has done to its own people, I strongly feel that the United States should not get involved.

9/12/2013
Irving/TX
Daniel I
Bradley/NimitzHS
Article I, Section 8 of The Constitution clearly states that the power to declare War belongs to Congress. The President does not have the power to declare War on Syria even under the 1973 War Powers Act. The U.S is not being attacked so the president can't act under the War Powers Act. If the president were to declare war it would be violating the constitution. Since the situation is complicated I think the U.S should not become involved unless the nation is under the threat of attack. The wrong choice would cause major problems for more nations than just America and Syria.

9/12/2013
Irving/Texas
Monica M. M.
Bradley/Nimitz
This is not a war. This is simply a problem for the U.S. and the people in Syria. If there was a war starting then approval would be taken into consideration. Obama however needs to realize that there is people in danger still. War or no war at all there needs to be a plan. The President is obviously concerned about Syria’s weapons of mass destruction but what is he really going to do about it? Is it necessary for Obama to wait and not take the War Powers Act into use? I truly think he needs troops to prepare and not wait for. It does no harm setting up a secure plan for all. What good does it do for us if we sit around waiting, if there is an attack, to be targeted. Congress knows there is no immediate danger but they too must realize we need protection. It’s not just an approval that is a concern. We are included in this also. It was stated that “the measure also aims to protect the interest of the United States” but how long does it take to realize it. The War Powers Act was there for situations like these and it needs to be used.

9/12/2013
Irving/Texas
Monica M. M.
Bradley/Nimitz
This is not a war. This is simply a problem for the U.S. and the people in Syria. If there was a war starting then approval would be taken into consideration. Obama however needs to realize that there is people in danger still. War or no war at all there needs to be a plan. The President is obviously concerned about Syria’s weapons of mass destruction but what is he really going to do about it? Is it necessary for Obama to wait and not take the War Powers Act into use? I truly think he needs troops to prepare and not wait for. It does no harm setting up a secure plan for all. What good does it do for us if we sit around waiting, if there is an attack, to be targeted. Congress knows there is no immediate danger but they too must realize we need protection. It’s not just an approval that is a concern. We are included in this also. It was stated that “the measure also aims to protect the interest of the United States” but how long does it take to realize it. The War Powers Act was there for situations like these and it needs to be used.

9/12/2013
Irving, TX
Jesus Gonzalez
Bradley/Nimitz HS
I believe that the president does have the authority to have such strikes without going to Congress.There could be political and diplomatic consequence for him doing so, but the authority is there.The congress can declare not to have a war and fund it,but he does have the ability to act on the national's interests.

9/12/2013
Irving/Tx
Brian J.
Bradley/Nimitz
Seeing as how the wars in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan ended up lasting over a decade each, and those were simply "police actions", I believe the president needs approval from congress before we attack Syria. The 1973 War Powers Act declines the president from making any war decision without the congress' say. Even though they have not attacked us and we only wish to make sure they don't, Syria can not be entered by simply the President's consent. Congress must go through its own process and weigh the options before they decide if starting a war with Syria and its allies would honestly be a wise decision.

9/12/2013
Irving/Tx
Hannah W.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that if the president was to want to declare an intervention on Syria then he must first get the approval of Congress. And who is to say that Congress won’t deny the president's request. In regards to the 1973 War Powers Act, it gives the president to deploy troops in order to further protect the United States. But the president must notify Congress in a 48 hour time period before he deploys troops to the said country. I do not believe that in the case of Syria we should send troops over there, because what have they done to us. They have not threatened us or our allies, so why bother sending troops to a place that is not threatening us in any way. If the president for some reason or another chooses to send troops over then he should definitely get the approval from Congress before making any hasty decisions.

9/12/2013
Houston/TX
Mary Martha M.
Hutchinson/St. Stephen's
President Obama has the right to enter into Syria without Congressional approval. A common argument against this is that the Consititition states that "Congress shall have the power to declare war". However, President Obama is not threatening to declare war, but rather to simply engage in drone strikes. As long as war is not being declared, President Obama has the authority to enter into Syria without Congressional approval.

9/12/2013
Irving/TX
Sergio G.
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe to declare war the President for sure needs Congress approval because like it is said the U.S. and its allies are currently not being threaten or attacked, so with that being said I believe it would go against the constitution to declare war without their approval. On the other side even with the 1973 War Powers Act I still believe even with that implied the president would have no choice but to wait for their approval for it not to become unconstitutional.

9/12/2013
Irving/Tx
Miriam
Bradley/Nimitz
The president has been given the right to to authorize the use of military action, but first Congress must formally declare war on Syria. The constitution grants them these rights. In the case of Syria there are many loopholes in which the president can still send troops. In essences, this means that yes he can take military action against Syria but it would not be considered a war. The War Powers Act does apply to the situation in Syria because we need to protect our national interest abroad. The political issues in Syria will affect its economy which will begin to affect the world as a whole over time. Although we,Americans, aren't physically being threatened right now, we will be soon if the issue isn't resolved.

9/12/2013
Smyrna, TN
Joshua
Ms. Dawson/Smyrna High School
why should he do that? all he is going to do is launch us into WW3. ;)

9/11/2013
Irving/TX
Brandon
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe the president does not need Congress' approval before taking military action against Syria. In my opinion, the War Powers Act does apply to Syria because the availability and misuse of these weapons of mass destruction are clearly egregious threats to Americans and U.S. allies. Before more lives are lost, we must take action.

9/11/2013
Irving/Texas
Aaron G.
Bradley/Nimitz
In enforcing any sort of military action in Syria, I think Obama should definitely wait for Congress' approval. The reaction I've seen throughout the media is quite polarizing to say the least, so I definitely think this is something that must be taken into EXTREME consideration. And in regards to the War Provision Act of 1973....well, my ignorance towards the subject (aside from this article) limits what I can say, but with what I DO know, I think it's something that'd be best used on rare occasions only. Therefore, I do not think the president should have complete control over war issues.

9/11/2013
Irving/Texas
Chadwick
Bradley/Nimitz
While technically speaking under the 1973 War Powers Act, the president wouldn't need to have the support of congress. Thus the question of whether the War Powers Act applies to Syria? Where the law is tricky is that it gives the president power to have "police troops" within the skirmishing country, however with Syria just under the rule of a tyrannical leader, who we have proof of using chemical weapons against his own people, having not directly attacked any Americans nor harmed anything with American industry Syria doesn't directly fall under the jurisdiction to the War Powers Act. This being said with the recent proposal from Russia to just go in as a group and take the chemical and mass destruction weapons away military action alone from the U.S. may be avoided. I do believe Bashir Assad should be held accountable for his gruesome acts of violating war etiquette of using chemical weapons, especially against his own people in a world that is run behind the scenes by powerful weaponry that if used threatens another world war. America's suspicions of Russian intent within obtaining the chemical weaponry may prove to be a halting point in U.S. complete cooperation in the plan.

9/11/2013
Houston/ Texas
Patrick
Hutchinson/ St. Stephens Episcopal Houston
Obama needs Congressional approval to use any force in Syria. Article one section 8 clause 11 says " Congress shall have the power to declare war." This means that the power to make war lays with Congress and only congress. If Obama launches attacks even though congress voted down the resolution ,the war is unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

9/11/2013
Irving/Texas
Lyndsey
Bradley/Nimitz
Even though we do have evidence that the Syrian President is killing his people I do not think that Obama has the right to attack. I think he does need Congress’ approval because Syria is not attacking America or our allies. Being that they are not attacking us, it does not apply to the 1973 War Powers Act. The 1973 War Powers Act says that the President can only declare war if another country is attacking Americans or American allies, and Syria is doing neither of those things.

9/11/2013
Houston/Tx
Lexi B.
Hutchinson/St.Stephens
Obama doesn't need the approval of congress to strike, because Obama can act militarily in Syria, based on the precedents of international law. Part of the CWC, was the Geneva Protocol that Syria signed in 1925 which prohibited the which forbids the use of chemical weapons in war. Yet, Syria decided to chemical weapons against their own people, in violation of the treaty. Summing things up, I believe the president doesn't need Congress's approval to use any force in Syria.

9/11/2013
Aurora,OH
Andrew Sobodosh
Harmon Middle School/ Paul Frankmann
I think the US shouldn't intermix with the the Civil War because I believe it will directly effect the US government money. The US has intervene with to many war which directly effects us the america citizens. Did it ever occur to you that the US is 16 trillion dollars in dept reported Sept. 7, 2012 by Fox New. Where is the US going to get money like that? That where we come in with the higher taxs on us to try to get us out of dept. Therefor I don't think we should help. Here is more information on the Us and their dept http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/07/how-long-will-it-take-us-to-pay-back-16-trillion-in-debt/

9/10/2013
Irving/tx
Elizabeth C.
Bradley/Nimitz
Although Obama does not need the approval of congress to strike, he is definitely doing the right thing in waiting for their approval. Obama believes that there is no need to take sudden action without considering our opinions. If there is no direct threat to our country then why shouldn't we have a say so? With that being said, yes the president really should wait for congress's approval.

9/10/2013
Irving/Texas
Sarah M.
Bradley/Nimitz
Obama should definitely get congress’ approval before any military action is initiated. The most important part of the War Provision Act of 1973 is that congress must authorize any military action, so if Obama were to send troops without the approval he must have he will be violating the Constitution. The decision on how the U.S will react to the acts of violence in Syria should not be up to the President alone. The decision ultimately lies between Congress and the President. The effects of a wrong decision would be catastrophic. If we rush into the situation, Syria may retaliate and this would obviously result in more death.

9/10/2013
Bonaire, GA
Shira
Ruggerio/MGSC
Obama does not have the authority to declare war on Syria. The majority of America does not want to go to war, therefore he is not representing the people. Also, the Obama administration has no proof that Assad used chemical weapons. America is known to stage false flag terror events to convince the public to go to war, such as Operation Northwoods, The Bay of Pigs, The Gulf of Tonkin, and the list goes on and on. Also, who are we helping in this war, because Obama is funding Al Qaeda, oops I mean the Syrian Rebels, well, either way they are the same thing. People need to wake up. We are not the world's police and we need to question our own government's actions because we are losing a lot of our freedoms right now. You can't free people by bombing them, and that is the only thing America plans to do over there. We are just taking another step towards becoming a fascist dictatorship. Look at history people.

9/9/2013
Irving/TX
Joseph C.
Bradley/Nimitz
I think that president Obama would need to have congress' approval to take military action because the 1973 War Powers Act would not even apply in this situation. I do not think the american people are really threatened, and to say the 1973 War Powers Act is applied would be unconstitutional. Also, I don't think America needs to risk getting into a major war right now with how our economy's doing. We should not put more of our soldiers in harms way with a decision of one man.

9/9/2013
Irving/TX
Edward H.
Bradley/Nimitz
I absolutely believe that Obama needs to get Congress’ approval to bomb or start war with Syria. This isn’t something that only his cabinet needs to approve of. This decision is something that needs to be fully thought through by Congress and Obama’s cabinet. What Syria did to its own people was cruel but, we do not know the whole story behind such an act. The 1973 War Powers Act does not rule towards this situation because, Syria has never threatened, attacked, or made the US feel unsafe before. This decision is bigger than what the citizens of the United States are taking this to be. The people need to get more involved about this and let their government know what they think about this situation.

9/9/2013
Irving/Texas
Scotty C.
Bradley/Nimitz
In this instance, I believe the president needs Congress' approval. Right now, the action of intervening in Syria is unpopular among the American public, as well as members of the president's own party. If the president decides to not go through Congress and start a war without much consent, I believe that's a very dangerous situation. We, as an American public, should not let one man decide the fate of men and women in the Armed Forces. President Obama should go through Congress, as well as international leaders, and earn their approval before we commit to any strikes on Syrian soil.

9/9/2013
Irving/Texas
Roberto.S
Bradley/Nimitz H S
In my personal opinion the President, does need to have congress approval to use military action on, Syria reasons are that using military actions without the congress approval, could later on lead to many tragedies from the not only congress, but the people from the United States because this could lead to protest and raids around the country. Majority of the people in the United States don't agreed on using military action because they're afraid of losing American lives, and the ecomony could sustain loses for year's to come. Also the chemical attack's on Syria civilians are horrible and that is inhumane to use on defenseless men, women, and children. Also if congress does approve military action i would just suggest aerial strikes instead of human combat.

9/8/2013
Irving/Texas
Imbri
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes the president needs congressional permission to use force in Syria. Using any sort of military force in Syria is an act of war. Every war after world war two has been unconstitutional. Furthermore, the 1973 War Powers Act is in itself unconstitutional as well. It was an abuse of power when George W. Bush did it and it would be an abuse of power if the current president did it as well. Passing a law that says it is okay does not make it any more right. The constitution is clear on the fact that you need congressional approval to declare any war.

9/7/2013
Irving/TX
Kristiyan
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that the USA should definitely go on a military campaign against Syria. It is absolutely not right for the Syrian Government to be killing its own people using chemical weapons. The U.S is strong enough and it would not be a problem if we get involved and teach the President of Syria that this cannot be happening under any circumstances. President Obama should be able to make his own decisions on this cause, and take action sooner than later.

9/6/2013
Belleville/NY
Trey
Colby/BHCS
Personally I don't believe that this is a matter which the United States should intervene with. This is a matter between the Syrian Government and the people of Syria, and I do not believe that the United States should be involved in a Syrian Civil War. But I do believe that in a situation where it leads to war that the President should need the approval of Congress.

9/6/2013
Belleville/NY
Daniel
Colby/BHCS
I think that the USA should go on a military campaign against Syria. They need to know that it is not right for them to kill their own people, with any means. The president should be able to make this happen on his own seeing that the Syrian government is killing its people with chemical weapons.

9/6/2013
Belleville/NY
Hannah
Colby/BHCS
I believe the President should have to have Congress' approval before he can use military force or declare war. The three branches of government were set up so there isn't one branch stronger than the rest. Each branch has their own job. Congress is suppose to delcare war and has the power to send in military forces, with the Presidents aproval. The President shouldn't just be able to call for war. The War Powers Act doesn't apply in this case. Syria or is alies haven't declared war on on the US or its aliies so there is no reason why the War Power Act to be a solution.

9/6/2013
adams NY
jocelyn
colby belleville henderson
i think that that obama should have to have congresses approval because i dont think he should send american troops over to syria. it is a bad idea becasue there would be no benefit for us and it distract washinton from more pressing geopolitic matters. and besdie the info on the location where they r holding thier chemical weopons isnt that reliable.

Related News
9/4/2013
The War Powers Resolution debate continues
Constitution Daily blog

9/4/2013
Congress moves forward on Syria
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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