I have complained many times about the lack of action and yes the lack of a spine by our elected officials when it comes to committing our troops in harm’s way.
They have allowed the president to go to war without any intervention from the Congress that is suppose to be the last word on war.
Their lack of action is driven by elections and not the rule of law….just like so much in our society the rule of law means NOTHING.
So I was surprised when I read of at least two attempts to limit the president’s reach when war is concerned……
A bipartisan resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives Wednesday under the War Powers Act. If the bill is passed, it would formally end US military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
The war in Yemen was never authorized by Congress, and US participation has become increasingly controversial, as Saudi airstrikes kill staggering numbers of civilians. This has led to growing resistance within Congress, though Congressional leadership has often sought ways to circumvent the votes.
Last year, the House offered a very similar War Powers Act resolution. Such resolutions are legally required to come up for a vote, though the leadership managed to block that one, and bargain their way down to a non-binding resolution.
Indeed, that bill and a Senate version came with the Pentagon claiming there were no US ground operations in Yemen involved in the war, a claim which later proved to be a lie. That in particlar has added calls for a re-vote.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), the lead sponsor, says he is confident that the new version of the bill won’t suffer the same fate, noting that support for the bill has expanded since then.
The support for ending the war both reflects incidents like the Saudi attack on a school bus in August, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s overt circumvention of the 2019 NDAA clause which obliged the US to halt aid to the Saudis until they did more to reduce casualties. Pompeo immediately declared they’d done enough, though the death toll has continued to rise.
And the second attempt concerns a possible attack on Iran……..
With National Security Adviser John Bolton threatening to “come after” Iran this week and President Donald Trump accusing the country of sowing “chaos, death, and destruction,” Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) was joined Wednesday by several other members of the Democratic caucus in urging Congress to ensure that the U.S. avoids yet another prolonged war by passing legislation affirming that a preemptive attack on the country would be illegal.
The Prevention of Unconstitutional War with Iran Act of 2018 demands that the president obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran. Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) signed on as co-sponsors.
These attempts may not meet with success but at least someone is trying to break the cycle of endless interventions that recent presidents have put this country in….we can only hope that sanity will soon return.
Could the election results in 2018 play into this narrative?