The US Congress is Guilty of Dereliction of Duty

5 months ago Citizen#7 0

Authorization of the Use of Military Force was not sought prior to President Trump’s strike in Syria. There seems to be a grey area around whether or not the President has the authority to unilaterally use military force without the consent of Congress. There are politicians on both sides.

In 2013 President Obama sought out congressional approval of the use of military force. Then citizen Trump tweeted his disapproval of any military action in Syria. Russia stepped in before Congress took action and brokered a deal with Syria to remove all chemical weapons. We know how that turned out.

President Obama posed the issue to Congress in 2015. Internal fighting within both parties kept the issue from being decided. Congress has not taken up the issue again. Senator Mitch McConnell said at a press conference ahead of Congress’ two-week recess, “I’d be interested in taking a look at an AUMF if the president feels like he needs it.”

IF the President feels like it. That doesn’t cut it for me. We need Congress to be engaged in the very dangerous behavior of North Korea, Syria, Iran, and our own President. Where are they? Why aren’t they very much engaged in this process?  The answer is simple, let President Trump carry the weight. They are keeping political distance. This is in my view a dereliction of duty. President Trump may have excellent generals helping him but our government is built on the concept of separation of powers. By abdicating their responsibility they are giving the President more power than he should have, or any president should have.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war. The President, meanwhile, derives the power to direct the military after a Congressional declaration of war from Article II, Section 2, which names the President Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. These provisions require cooperation between the President and Congress regarding military affairs, with Congress funding or declaring the operation and the President directing it. Nevertheless, throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, Presidents have often engaged in military operations without express Congressional consent. These operations include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, the Afghanistan War of 2001 and the Iraq War of 2002.

To many times Presidents have gotten us into war without the consent of Congress prior to the initial authorization of the use of force. We need Congress to do their job.

Please contact your legislator and demand they participate in the very dangerous situation we are currently facing.