There are few limitations on the President’s ability to wage war because Congress has failed to update legislation on the use of military force.
Following the 9/11 attacks, a document, known as the ‘2001 Authorisation for Use of Military Force’, was introduced to allow George W. Bush and later President Obama to authorise military action against terrorists responsible for the devastating attacks.
The same legislation has been used to justify military involvement in countries all over the world, including Yemen, Libya and Afghanistan.
Throughout Obama’s second term, Congress pushed to limit the war-making abilities of the President after questions were raised about whether the US leader should be given so much sway on determining the country’s military activities.
However, Congress’ failure to act means President-elect Trump will soon be able to flex his military might against ISIS without fearing his plans will be scuppered by objectors.
There are reports some Democrats will push for war resolution powers next year and Trump has previously suggested he would be favourable to the idea.
Speaking in May, he responded to the idea of the introduction of a ‘declaration of war’ provision by saying: “It wouldn’t bother me at all doing that.
“We probably should have done that in the first place.”
Trump’s new defence secretary, retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, has also shown support for the idea of a check on President’s military power.
In a blog post last year, Mattis wrote that a new resolution, “supported by a majority of both parties in both houses of Congress, will send an essential message of American steadfastness to our people and to the global audience.”