April 14, 2017

Can Trump continue to engage in acts of war without congressional approval? And how far can he go?

By Loren DeJonge Schulman

Last week, a chemical weapons attack in a Syrian town killed more than 70 men, women, and children. As a result, the Trump administration took action against Syria, launching 59 cruise missiles from two Navy destroyers in the Mediterranean targeting a Syrian military airfield. The attack was quickly denounced by Syria and by Russia — a country that is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Since the attack, many questions have come up about Trump’s foreign policy approach. Some have praised, and some have criticized the administration's quick decision to act in Syria. Others are struck by our increasingly hostile stance toward Russia.

To get to the heart of these issues, I talked to The Post’s national security reporter Dan Lamothe for this week’s episode of “Can He Do That?” Dan explains what constitutes an act of war and what goes into military decision making.

We also talk to Nora Bensahel, a distinguished scholar in residence at American University’s School of International Service, about when a president has the authority to unilaterally wage war. And Loren Schulman, former senior advisor to National Security Advisor Susan Rice and current fellow at the Center for a New American Security, about the implications of Trump's action for foreign policy and national security.

Listen below or at The Washington Post.



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