Updating Law on War Powers Proves Daunting

In Military and War On

WASHINGTON — Senators from both parties agreed on Tuesday that it was long past time for Congress to enact a new law authorizing the evolving war against Islamist terrorist groups, while also raising questions about the legal basis for the Trump administration’s escalating direct military confrontations with Syrian government forces.

But over the course of a 90-minute hearing before the Foreign Relations Committee, it was clear that policy disagreements that thwarted previous efforts to update the authorization to use military force against the perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — a law that three presidents have used to justify combat against foes and in countries far beyond Al Qaeda in Afghanistan — remained daunting.

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