In this episode, two war powers experts explain and grapple with the legal and constitutional ramifications of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian military leader General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week.
Did the president have the authority under the Constitution – as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces – and under domestic and international law to unilaterally carry out the airstrike? Can it be justified as an act of self-defense, a response to an “imminent threat”, or anything less than an act of war? Or, does the law require Congress, not the president, to authorize such strikes? John Bellinger, former State Department Legal Adviser under Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, and Oona Hathaway, an international law professor at Yale Law and Adviser to the State Department, answer those questions and more in conversation with host Jeffrey Rosen.
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