A provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, approved last week by the House Armed Services Committee, would allow the president to use military force anywhere in the world where terrorism suspects are reported to be present, even if no U.S. citizen has been harmed or the United States has not been attacked. It allows the president to detain “belligerents” until the “termination of hostilities.”
The New York Times editorialized yesterday,
"That deliberately vague phrase could include anyone who doesn’t like America, even if they are not connected in any way with the 2001 attacks. It could even apply to domestic threats...Since it does not give a plausible scenario of how those hostilities could be considered over, it raises the possibility of endless detention for anyone who gets on the wrong side of a future administration...As more than 30 House Democrats protested to Mr. McKeon, a declaration of “global war against nameless individuals, organizations, and nations” could “grant the president near unfettered authority to initiate military action around the world without further Congressional approval.” If a future administration wanted to attack Iran unilaterally, it could do so without having to consult with Congress."