Permission to Wage War

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President Obama wants Congress to authorize a three-year military campaign against the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL.

President Obama has asked Congress for approval to use military force to fight ISIS. Fred Kaplan, Slate's War Stories columnist and author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, contends that this is basically a charade, as lawmakers rarely vote down a president's request for authorization to go to war. Plus: the Senate confirmed Ashton Carter as the next defense secretary yesterday.