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Libya mission legal: White House

The Obama Administration has informed the US Congress that it has the necessary authority to continue with its participation in the Libyan military mission led by NATO, even though the action is not authorised by the Congress.

world Updated: Jun 16, 2011 23:07 IST

The Obama Administration has informed the US Congress that it has the necessary authority to continue with its participation in the Libyan military mission led by NATO, even though the action is not authorised by the Congress.

In a 32-page document sent to the Congress, the White House argued that the US President does not require authorisation by the Congress because it is only providing supporting role to the NATO-led mission.

This comes a day after John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, wrote a letter to Obama saying that he would soon be violating the War Power Resolution of 1973 if he did not get Congressional approval.

“We’re now in a position where we’re operating in a support role. We’re not engaged in sustained fighting,” a senior administration official said.

“There’s been no exchange of fire with hostile forces. We don’t have troops on the ground. We don’t risk casualties to those troops. None of the factors, frankly, speaking more broadly, has risked the sort of escalation that Congress was concerned would impinge on its war-making power,” the official explained.

“So within the precedence of a war powers analysis, all of which typically are very fact-dependent, we are confident that we’re operating consistent with the resolution.”