10 months before a Presidential election, on January 2, 2020 the impeached, real President of the US authorized an airstrike that killed a high ranking member of Iran's military while he was on the territory of a US ally. That Trump's target richly deserved his fate is not the point. The US was not at war with Iran and had not even notified its Iraq ally before conducting the attack close to Baghdad's airport. The only possible legal grounds the US has for the attack is the Congressionally Authorized Use of Force Against Terrorists aka The Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed on Sept 14th 2001 in the wake of the terrorist attacks three days earlier in New York, Washington and Shanksville Pennsylvania. The target of the 2020 attack, Qasem Soleimani, was the top man in Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps - Quds Force, which the US has designated a terrorist organization due to its support for irregular and terrorists forces throughout the middle east. A sovereign state authorizing its organized military to attack a member of another recognized sovereign state's armed forces is an act of war. Of that there is no doubt. One of the basic purposes of organized armed forces is to clearly define who is and is not a target within the context of a war between two sovereign states. The US is claiming that Soleimani was in the process of plotting imminent attacks by his terrorist minions and that he was therefore a lawful target under the AUMF. Both aspects of that claim are dubious. First, killing a high level leader is unlikely to disrupt or stop an imminent attack. Soleimani was not going to be anywhere near the site of any such attack and it may easily proceed unhindered by his fiery demise. Second, labelling Soleimani a terrorist because he leads an organization that supports terrorists is a "reductio ad absurdum" argument that could easily result in the US President himself being labelled a terrorist. Remember that one side's "terrorists" are often the other side's "freedom fighters". If Iran were to designate any US backed group as a terrorist organization it could, under the US' current logic, then designate the US head of any US government organization that supports that group as a terrorist. That in itself is not new, the US President and many other US officials have been labelled terrorists by various hostile states long before Trump arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. What is new is the US' President's ordering an overt act of war against a sovereign nation while stretching the AUMF to include an organization that is not itself a terrorist group had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. In 2001, the US congress did not authorize the US President to go to war against a sovereign state. No such authorization has been provided in the interim. Donald Trump has now committed an unauthorized act of war while simultaneously violating the integrity of an allied nation's territory. Trump has risked starting a real war and is all over twitter ensuring that he looks like a great leader as a result of it. Trump has once again failed to grasp the intricacies of Presidential responsibilities. His luck may help us all avoid the worst consequences of it but luck has a way of balancing out the more often the dice are thrown.