President Barack Obama’s abrupt change of course and decision to ask Congress to authorize a strike on Syria won praise from some who have bitterly opposed his foreign policy. But in his surprise decision, did Obama cede presidential power?
Over the last 50 years, presidents have successfully consolidated power when it comes to foreign affairs, especially when use of the U.S. military is concerned. Some say the concession to Congress sets a new precedent that bodes well for future Congresses and not so well for future presidents.
“This is a big deal and will tie the hands of future presidents,” said Peter Spiro, law professor at Temple University.
Spiro said this is the first time a president has sought authorization from Congress for a limited military mission. He said it will limit the flexibility of future presidents to make quick decisions, potentially putting U.S. national security at risk.