#President Trump's decision to okay a military strike against a Syrian airfield on Friday in response to a chemical attack earlier last week -- like much of everything else he does -- came under fire from those who felt he needed to have Congressional approval before following through. This argument, however, seems to be based on suggestion and not actual legislation as various reports have shown that historically, #Congress has either fallen behind in enforcing that kind of legislation or have no interest in doing so.

It was reported on Friday that President Trump's reasons for conducting the strikes were because they were in the interest of U.S.' national security.

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On Saturday, however, it was reported that Trump sent a letter to Congress where he provided his justification under the 1973 War Powers Resolution which was passed during the controversial war in Vietnam. The resolution requires that he explain his #military action within 48 hours. Despite this, however, even some Congressional lawmakers such as Rand Paul came out against the attack saying it was illegal. Others making the same argument were Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Congress and the law

In 2011 when President Obama carried out a NATO air strike on Libya's Qaddafi convoy, he reportedly did not seek Congressional approval then. Nor did he in 2016 when he hit Houthi-controlled radar sites in Yemen in response to their targeting of U.S. Naval ships, which Blasting News reported on.

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In an article by Business Insider, a former US Navy captain and maritime law expert said that the law over the declaration of war is very clear in the Constitution, which Rand Paul referred to in his mentioned statement, but that it hasn't been followed since the second world war. The article also mentions the resolution that Trump used and that he falls in with the position that it was a limited strike and a one-off. He goes on further to say that limited strikes such as the one on Friday do not require Congress.

The resolution is brought up again in an opinion piece published by the New York Times titled: “Trump must get Congress's O.K. on Syria," written by a Bruce Ackerman who claims to be on a team that is still challenging President Obama's strikes against the Islamic State, under the premise that they were already approved by Congress under President Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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In much the same way, President Trump has also slid by without accountability with strikes in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria left over from the Obama administration. Blasting News detailed some of these conditions with air strikes in Yemen which have only increased since the report was published. In a segment on the NPR's "All Things Considered" on Friday, David Brooks of the New York Times described a pattern he's seen since he was a kid of what Congress does when they're faced with this dilemma, “They [White House] take the action. A few members of Congress complain, and they say the law says you have to consult with us. And nominally they're right.”

No time to go to Congress

Its been noted that President Trump does not want to reveal his next steps which were confirmed again during a press briefing outside the White House, where he said he wasn't going to tell anyone what his next move would be. By going to Congress, it could be another way for him to announce his intentions. But David Brooks continued to say that the President doesn't have time to ask for approval. Further, he says that if there's a long engagement then he should approach them for it but for these kinds of short-term strikes, it's not necessary. But this also goes to the issue that Ackerman points to when it comes to the resolution, saying that the strikes started the clock that gives President Trump 60 days to convince Congress of a long-term military campaign or the reason for his recent response.

This he reiterated again in his letter to them to say that it was in the interest of national security, likely, to put the issue to rest. But Ackerman states that the President's action is against a secular autocrat such as Assad and not the Islamic State, who are targeted by both the U.S. and Syria's government. With a Republican majority who last week, went “nuclear” to get President Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch confirmed despite the opposition, there is no sense that even they will try to stress his military action. It would also appear that Trump has already completed the minimal requirements to take action within a climate that agrees that after six years of Assad's war crimes, something had to be done.