A fun front page above the fold WaPo story on Mad Dog Mattis' time as commander of Cent Comm under Obama and, well, things are going to get exciting in a Trump administration it seems! E.g.:
[Mattis'] proposal, crafted with the support of the ambassador and the senior American commander in Iraq, was to hit back inside Iran, said current and former senior U.S. officials, who took part in the debate. One option was a dead-of-night U.S. strike against an Iranian power plant or oil refinery....
Because honestly, what U.S. policy in the Middle East needs is more bombs dropped on yet another Muslim nation. Plus Iran's deserved it ever since Coward Saint Ronnie turned tail and ran out of Lebanon in '83. Wuss.
Beyond that, what would be the legal authority for bombing Iran? It's not even touched upon in the story. It's just assumed that Obama (and soon Trump) could order up a bombing of Iran and then greet the 2016 NCAA X Champions later in the day without batting an eye.
Is it the 9/11 AUMF, under the theory that Iran supplying weapons to the Iraqi insurgents is supporting the terrorists/terrorist organizations that attacked the United States in 2001? Is it Iraq war AUMF because of the same weapons supply (and how would that theory apply when nations use weapons procured from the US to launch attacks against other nations)? I'm really at a loss here. Any ideas? And if there isn't any, does Trump, or anyone else, even care? To wit:
'When they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water,' Trump said to thunderous applause at a campaign rally.
I guess I can answer the Trump question myself.