The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.
That is a quote from then Senator Obama on the limit and reach of the President's military power. Again the United States has engaged itself in a military conflict. We are already at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States does not need to be getting involved in Libya's affairs. I am usually the first one to say how the United States has a responsibility to protect human rights and prevent human right abuses. I still feel that way, but in this case I can't help but feel like in this case the help is ingenuous. Muammar Gaddafi has been in power for 42 years. The United State has paid little attention to him or Libya. Now all of a sudden the western world wants to flock to the aid of the revolting Libyans. The Libyans did this on their own they started this revolution and now it seems that the western world is attempting to co-sign their achievements. True that the Libyans probably need the help, but was the aid that they received wanted? This action is eerily similar to how Iraq started out. Again a President has committed troops to a foreign country. I am a strong legislature type of person. I do not think the excessive power the president has is good for this country. I think that troops should be deployed with congress' approval. True at times troop deployment without congress' approval is necessary, but this isn't one of those times. President Obama should be be careful about this situation. It is too easy to compare this with the actions of President Bush. Seeing that President Obama campaigned on change, he should be careful not to follow on a path followed by previous presidents.