Bush’s Iraq plan may be unconstitutional.

In November, President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki outlined a “long-term relationship” for the United States to defend Iraq’s security. But experts believe that not only is this agreement unprecedented, but also potentially unconstitutional:

President Bush’s plan to forge a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could commit the US military to defending Iraq’s security would be the first time such a sweeping mutual defense compact has been enacted without congressional approval, according to legal specialists. […]

But there is now also growing alarm about the constitutional issues raised by Bush’s plan. Legal specialists and lawmakers of both parties are raising questions about whether it would be unconstitutional for Bush to complete such a sweeping deal on behalf of the United States without the consent of the legislative branch.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a former Reagan administration official, accused the Bush administration of “arrogance” for not consulting with Congress about the pact.


UPDATE: In December, Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) wrote to Bush, requesting “a definitive statement from you affirming that Congress must authorize or approve any ‘security commitments’ the United States negotiates with Iraq.” He has not yet received a response.