President Obama’s first initiated war against an Islamic terrorist group is authorized, the White House says, by George W. Bush-signed legislation that Mr. Obama has criticized and wanted to repeal since last year.

Since beginning airstrikes last month against the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL, the White House has said it does not need congressional approval to carry out such missions.

Last week, on the 13th anniversary of al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States, the administration announced why, saying President Bush’s Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution in 2001 is all the authority Mr. Obama needs.

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