Defense One quotes VP and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel on whether President Obama should seek presidential authorization for combating the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham:

“I think they’re learning the wrong lessons from last fall,” said Barry Pavel, vice president and director of the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. Pavel served in the office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for almost 18 years and then as senior director for defense policy and strategy for the National Security Council under both Bush and Obama. “Last fall I was shocked that they went to Congress [for strikes against Syria] … I thought it was a significant undermining of presidential prerogatives and precedent.”

But, Pavel told Defense One, “When you’re talking about an operation for ‘years,’ it’s pretty significant and it’s of a scale and expected duration that warrants a discussion with the American people, not altogether unlike the Iraq invasion. I would as gently as possible suggest that they should consider [congressional authorization], especially as he hands it off to his successor.”

“We don’t know how this is going to play out,” he continued. “You want other people along for the ride, a political sharing of risk and responsibilities, as a nation.”

Read the full article here.

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