Obama Frets Over Seeming Hawkish Over Iraq Strikes

Reality bites.


As the president considers airstrikes in Syria against the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, seeking a congressional imprimatur remains a politically tricky undertaking…

It is not just that many Democrats and even some Republicans are wary about endorsing a new American military venture. The White House is also wrestling with how to define the president's war-making authority in a way that does not undermine his claim last year that he had finally taken the United States off a permanent war footing.

A broad authorization — like those passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and before the Iraq war — would carry echoes of the George W. Bush administration, outrage Mr. Obama's antiwar liberal base and raise the specter of an open-ended conflict in Syria.