May 21, 2013
Congress is rethinking the broad authority it gave the president to wage a war on terror after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in light of how President Barack Obama has used the power to target suspected terrorists with lethal drone strikes.
Senior Pentagon officials insisted on Thursday that the law should remain unchanged as the nation remains locked in armed conflict with al-Qaida and its affiliates, a fight that will rage for another decade or two. But Republicans and Democrats fear that they have given the president a blank check for using military force worldwide.
“This authority … has grown way out of proportions and is no longer applicable to the conditions that prevailed, that motivated the United States Congress to pass the authorization for the use of military force that we did in 2001,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said during a Senate hearing. He told Pentagon officials that “basically you’ve got carte blanche as to what you are doing throughout the world.”