Two articles from Think Progress remind me of how there was conflict in Cambodia during the Vietnam war, authorized secretly by the Nixon administration. Of course, we’ve actually been at war in the Middle East for decades, but there appears to be a secret front. This does fit in quite well with the Partnership for a New American Century’s proposal for multiple fronts in a land war in the Middle East.
Yesterday, in her appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Lincoln Chafee wanted to clarify a simple issue â€“ did the Iraq war resolution passed by Congress restrict military action only to Iraq? Chafee asked, â€˜So would you agree that if anything were to occur on Syrian or Iranian soil, you would have to return to Congress to get that authorization?â€™ Rice responded:
RICE: Senator, I donâ€™t want to try and circumscribe presidential war powers. And I think youâ€™ll understand fully that the president retains those powers in the war on terrorism and in the war on Iraq. â€¦
CHAFEE: So thatâ€™s a no.
RICE: Senator, I am not going to be in the position of circumscribing the presidentâ€™s powers.
Today, Secretary Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States would not rule out the use of military force with Syria. â€˜Iâ€™m not going to get into what the presidentâ€™s options might be,â€™ Rice said. â€˜I donâ€™t think the president ever takes any of his options off the table concerning anything to do with military force.â€™
But this weekend, the New York Times reported that U.S. forces are already engaged in a â€˜shadow struggleâ€™ with Syria:
A series of clashes in the last year between American and Syrian troops, including a prolonged firefight this summer that killed several Syrians, has raised the prospect that cross-border military operations may become a dangerous new front in the Iraq war, according to current and former military and government officials. â€¦