Did Barack Obama Have Legal Authority To Authorize “Operation Geronimo?”


Currently, the aspects of national security can be considered crucially essential for the government of the United States of America since the wellness and protection of citizens, as well as social safety are guaranteed. In this situation, public authorities should constantly assess their decisions and recognize their legal power to provide specific national security solutions. During “Operation Geronimo,” President Obama had the legal authority to approve the mission since he is the official accountable for national security principles, whereas his actions are monitored by other agencies.

“Operation Geronimo”

To assess whether President Obama had the legal power to confirm the commencement of the operation, it is initially obligatory to analyze the mission and its features. The most sought human globally, Osama Bin Laden, was killed in Pakistan in May 2011 (Soherwordi & Khattak, 2020). Osama reportedly resided in Abbottabad for the previous several years, adjacent to a Pakistani military college (Soherwordi & Khattak, 2020). He was assassinated and his body was captured by the US Navy Seal unit during “Operation Geronimo,” a military mission (Soherwordi & Khattak, 2020). The operation, which was performed secretly by the Pakistani public authorities, has pushed ties between the two nations to an unprecedented bottom (Soherwordi & Khattak, 2020). There have additionally been suggestions that American forces may be sent to Pakistan if the country’s nuclear facilities are threatened by militants seeking revenge for the death of Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden

Referring to the necessity of dealing with the case of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, it is feasible to emphasize the threat that bin Laden was imposing on the American national security system. The deadliest terrorist strike against the United States of America occurred on September 11, 2001, and Osama bin Laden was the planner behind the strikes that lead to the death of approximately 3,000 Americans (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2022). The 1998 explosions in the American diplomatic missions in Kenya and Tanzania were exclusively one of several fatal terrorist acts against the United States and its partners that Osama bin Laden either organized or facilitated (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2022). The key battleground in the ongoing fight against terrorism and radicalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, was when President Barack Obama pledged more personnel and funds in 2009 (U.S. Government Printing Office, 2022). Hence, regarding national security considerations, the personality of bin Laden was evaluated as extremely dangerous for social stability in the world and in the U.S.

Authority of President Obama

Concerning the legal power that President Obama had to authorize “Operation Geronimo,” it can be stated that he, as the President of the United States, was operating in the interest of national security. The President of the United States of America acts as the military’s supreme commander and is in charge of maintaining public safety and national security (Scott, 2018). The decisions made by the President of the United States are supported by evidence, legal frameworks, and the observations of American legislative and judicial governmental bodies. In case the decision is accepted, the American government recognizes its actions and provides measures following the policies and President Obama had legal authority to approve the operation.


To summarize, during “Operation Geronimo,” a military mission, a US Navy Seal group eliminated Osama bin Laden and confirmed his death. In terms of the legal authority President Obama possessed to approve “Operation Geronimo,” it may be said that, in his capacity as President of the United States, he acted in the country’s interest. On the occasion that the decision is approved, the American government acknowledges the operation’s acts and initiates the necessary steps following the regulations, and President Obama had the legal right to accomplish this.


Scott, C. (2018). Foucault, Carter, and Trump? Neoliberalism and US foreign policy. Palgrave Macmillan.

Soherwordi, S. H. S., & Khattak, S. A. (2020). Operation Geronimo: Assassination of Osama bin Laden and its implications on the US-Pakistan relations, War on Terror, Pakistan and Al-Qaeda. South Asian Studies, 26(2).

U.S. Government Printing Office. (2022). Official record of the Osama bin Laden operation. Intelligence Authorization Act.