Under the Constitution, to go to war the President of the United States MUST go before Congress to request that they vote on and declare a state of war against a nation.
This has not happened since World War II.
Not for Korea, not for Vietnam, not for Kosovo, not for Somalia, not for the Gulf War, not for Afghanistan, nor for the invasion into Iraq.
Not once has the Congress declared a state of war in any of these engagements.
What HAS happened however is a massive shift in military/war powers from the Congress, to the Executive Branch.
First there was the War Powers Resolution which allowed the President a 90 day window to engage military forces without Congressional Approval. However, even this has been violated in the instances of all of these military engagements.
Instead in Afghanistan and Iraq, instead of the Congress declaring war, they passed resolutions to allow the president to take the nation to war without a formal declaration.
This trend of course has opened the door to the current president engaging military forces overseas whenever feels the need to, without consent of the people’s representatives, the Congress.
This is why we had the unnecessary invasion into Libya and only when the president was beginning to feel pressure did Obama entertain the idea to ask permission of congress to bomb Syria (though his administration made clear he didn’t need it).
Funny thing is, he never asked to bomb Pakistan and Yemen with drones. Why?
No one cared (but I’m sure they would if it had been Bush).
This pattern over decades of ignoring the Constitution and handing over fiat war powers has led to the absolute disregard for any rule of law by this president and both parties are to blame. If this continues, what exactly will the point of having a Congress or a Constitution be?Published in