Koh, a former Yale Law School dean who wrote about the War Powers Resolution during his academic career, said the “narrow” role of U.S. warplanes in the mission doesn’t meet the definition of hostilities.
The circumstances in Libya are “virtually unique,” he said, because the “exposure of our armed forces is limited, there have been no U.S. casualties, no threat of U.S. casualties” and “no exchange of fire with hostile forces.”
With a “limited risk of serious escalation” and the “limited military means” employed by U.S. forces, “we are not in hostilities envisioned by the War Powers Resolution, Koh said.
As an outsider to the political process, it has been absolutely hilarious watching a White House full of children of the 1960's retroactively justifying Nixon's Christmas bombings of Cambodia. It's not a war, they claim, as long as our soldiers are safe and we are mostly just killing citizens of other nations from the air. Of course, by this definition, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was not an act of war.
There are many reasons to put separation-of-powers-type scrutiny on war-making that go beyond just the risk to American lives. In particular, killing people from other countries can radically change our relationship with other nations. I find it ironic that that White House has deliberately put blinders on and declared that the only reason to get Congressional approval is if US soldiers are at risk, since it was Obama who lectured the nation on the campaign trail about how damaging to our world image he felt Bush's wars to be.