PREFACE: Below is my National Security Law seminar term paper, which was my final assignment in law school. The footnotes from my term paper are incorporated as endnotes. My paper addresses the legality of Operation Iraqi Freedom under American law only, specifically the case and precedent established by President Clinton and carried forward by President Bush. My paper does not address the international legal controversy (which I discuss here at A2) - i.e., the episodic view that demanded specific UN authorization for each US military action and erased (for some critics) Iraq's presumption of guilt, versus the American progressive view that a priori and de facto authority for the US-led military enforcement of the UNSC resolutions carried over the legal authority of the original Gulf War authorization to the enforcement of the Gulf War ceasefire UNSC resolutions.
Go here for the companion piece to this post, my explanation of the public controversy over Operation Iraqi Freedom. Go here for a table of sources, including this academic paper summarizing the continuity of counter-terrorism policy from Clinton to Bush. Go here for my retrospective on the 10th anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Go here for my FAQ-style explanation of the law and policy, fact basis of Operation Iraqi Freedom.