Lawmakers sue to end U.S. role in Libya fightA bipartisan group of House lawmakers went to court Wednesday to try to stop President Obama’s troop deployment to Libya, saying it violates the law, but the White House submitted a report to Congress arguing that it is adhering to the War Powers Resolution because it is not actually engaged in “hostilities.”
“U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof,” the administration said in a 32-page public report, which was sent to Congress along with a classified annex describing in more detail the rebels the U.S. is aiding.
In an accompanying letter to Congress, Mr. Obama said the U.S. is supporting a NATO coalition that is maintaining a no-fly zone over the country to give rebels there room for opportunity, though he said with the exception of a rescue mission in March, no American ground forces have been deployed to Libya.
Still, he acknowledged that U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles are striking targets in Libya, and a senior administration official briefing reporters said American warplanes are still flying sorties and can respond if fired upon.
Those actions would seem to test the limits of what is considered hostile action under the 1973 War Powers Resolution.