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Congress should curtail war-making powers -- Dick Dubielzig

May 26, 2019

The U.S. Constitution clearly grants Congress the power to declare war. This is an important check on the power of the president so that war is not used for political gain or corrupt motives.

But ever since the 9/11 attacks, the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force has been used to justify countless military actions without discussion in Congress. The congressional responsibility to declare war has been bypassed. The president alone has exercised war powers.

This is dangerous even with a president who sincerely has the interests of the nation in mind. This president and his policy advisers have shown reasons not to trust them. Legitimate questions have been raised about President Trump’s motives.

He acquiesces to the will of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Trump refuses to set aside his business interests. He imagines himself as a genius.

No president should be trusted with war making powers, but especially not this one. We need to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. And when a new one is written, it should have a sunset clause, and it should be narrowly focused on a named conflict.

It should set a higher bar if the authorization is for boots on the ground.

Dick Dubielzig, Madison

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