A major speech by President Obama on Tuesday did not signal a “credible threat” to the United States or even “an act of war,” a key provision of the War Powers Resolution, the Senate Armed Services Committee said Wednesday.
The resolution requires presidents to submit a declaration that their country is in danger.
Aides had said Obama would speak to the nation about the threat of cyberwar.
But the Obama administration said in a statement that it “did not intend to imply a direct or imminent threat to the U.S. homeland or the national security of the United State.”
“The President does not believe it is necessary to make any further comment on the cyber threat, nor to detail a specific threat, to protect the privacy and security of U.N. employees, officials, or other Americans,” the statement read.
The declaration “does not constitute a threat to U.P.S.,” the Senate panel said in its release.
Instead, it is an “evidentiary showing” that a foreign government or group “has, or is about to, conduct or is planning to conduct an act of cyber-enabled or cyber-coordinated terrorism against the United Kingdom.”
Aides have said the declaration is not a formal declaration, as it does not specify the threat.
But even if it is not, Obama has made clear his intentions to use the threat to further his legacy, which has included his efforts to bring the U,S.
military to the brink of war in Syria and to negotiate the release of the American prisoners held by the Islamic State group.
“I am pleased that Congress has taken action to address the serious threats we face from cyberwar,” the president said in the speech.
“But the United Nations must be vigilant against any cyberattacks and be ready to respond.
And I will not rest until the world has recovered from a devastating cyberattack.”
The Senate Armed Service Committee is expected to vote on a resolution that would require the president to submit to Congress a declaration of a cyber-related threat before a president can speak to Congress about it.