Your premise seems a bit of a stretch. The Barbary Pirates were a clear and direct threat to the well being of citizens of this country who had rights of free passage and to the vital commercial interests of this nation. I question that the same can be said for The Ukraine where the issue is really more one of Civil War though Russia would like to dictate the winner and the people have already spoken in favor of that winner by election of a pro-Russia president that has been ousted.
I said NATO as the commitment authority didn’t I?
The question is really about intent and outcome though. Can he expand the NATO commitment to combat without consent from Congress? It seems so. This isn’t the same as sending troops to chase a bunch of insurgents around central africa.
Do you think that the next step of engaging limited numbers of troops in what would almost surely be a fatal or large and escalating action is part of “legitimate powers”. It sounds more like irresponsible reckless folly to me. Not all things that are permissible are the right thing to do are they?
Have a nice day.
That in not accurate. While Yanukovich was elected rather fairly he was elected into a different position as by 2004 constitutional President did not have much power. The amendment was passed after the Orange revolution and 90% of the legislators voted for it. He managed to use his limited power together with corrupt judges to overturn the constitution claiming there had been procedural errors 6 years ago and started to use the old 1996 constitution, that gave him very large powers.
It began to became clear that he is consolidating his power and there might be no more fair elections ever.
He was also impeached by legal parliament, who had given up on him. Also the 2004 constitution was restored. And new elections were scheduled. Russia tries to paint it as a coup and the new government a junta, but it might be the first time when the first decision of a junta is scheduling early elections.
a) Whether it's good policy;
b) Whether it's legally authorized.
Regarding (a) I've already indicated I think it's foolhardy to send so few troops to an exposed position.
Regarding (b) I think any President has extremely wide latitude regarding the deployment and use of US forces-- the only real Constitutional check on the use of force abroad is the purse: if you don't want the President to exercise such powers don't pay for a large military.
You can't have it both ways: it seems to me the position you're arguing confuses Congress' power to declare war with the exercise of command authority. And in this case, there is no offensive operation, only defensive.
People forget that an actual declaration of war has many legal effects -within- the United States, such as the power to seize enemy aliens, their property and that of the foreign power, the classification of certain acts as treason and sedition, etc.
As a side note, the Authorization to Use Military Force passed after 9/11 has already been adjudicated by SCOTUS as a declaration of war, and since it specifies "by any means necessary" with no time limit it is probably the most sweeping grant of wartime authority to the executive ever made.