CONGRESS MUST RE-AFFIRM ITS SOLE AUTHORITY TO DECLARE WARS–ESPECIALLY NOW, DURING THE TRUMP REGIME!

Although Health Care and Immigration are currently receiving the bulk of the media coverage—and rightfully so—I am gravely concerned about our National Security, as well.  Donald Trump didn’t create the current situation; however, under his Regime, he can only make it worse!  I am referring to the informal, even frivolous manner in which America wages war today, and Congress has apparently ceded that responsibility, over past decades, to the Executive Branch.

Only Congress is authorized to Declare War, under the U. S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8), and that Authority cannot be delegated.  Beginning with Vietnam, our wars have been entered into in a most informal manner, and generally for spurious reasons.  When we send men, and now women, to War, it should only be when America or its allies are in danger, when all else has been tried, and with the complete support of the American People!

I was one of those pawns who went to Vietnam, in the 1960s,  for dubious participation in someone else’s civil war.  It began when 3,500 Marines were deployed in 1965, and it grew to a massive army of 500,000 Americans, at its highest point.  And, for every infantry “Grunt”, there were four (like me) who were not in the actual fight.

Perhaps, worst of all, it was an Open-Ended War, with no means of knowing if and when our side won or lost.  We didn’t win!  As North Vietnamese Special Envoy, Le Duc Tho, told Henry Kissinger, after the Paris Peace Talks in 1973: “You won the battles, but you lost the War!”

Then, in 2001 why did President George W. Bush send an initial 35,000 American troops into Afghanistan, assumedly to kill or capture one man—Osama bin Laden?  As usual, too large a force is counter-productive.  And, the extra men did, in fact, get into trouble!

Bush also allowed the (Dick) Cheney-(Donald) Rumsfeld Cabal to fabricate the need to invade Iraq in 2003.  “Rummy” and Company forced the Army Chief-of-Staff, General Eric Shinseki, to retire. Then, they overruled the Generals, by forcing an inconsistent “Battle Plan”, to wage war on the cheap.  In that situation, politics trumped protocol and experience, and this sets the stage for the, perhaps even more dangerous Donald Trump Regime.

The failed raid, in Yemen on January 29, which took the life of one Navy SEAL (husband and father), and caused the deaths of numerous Yemenis, was ordered and carried-out prematurely, and with insufficient Intelligence.  So far, Trump has shown a preference for loyalty, over experience and competence.

In fact, Donald Trump has rebuked our Intelligence Community on numerous occasions.  And more recently, he appointed Steve Bannon, his Chief Political Strategist, as a permanent member of the National Security Council.  In essence, Donald Trumps appears to be politicizing National Security–and that can be dangerous!

Given the current insane manner in which the U. S. wages War, Congress must, at a minimum: re-affirm its sole discretion to Declare War; formalize the process through an actual Declaration of War; require the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of Defense to consult with both Houses of Congress, to review a fully drawn-up Battle Plan, before a declaration is even voted on; and lastly re-enact the Military Draft—without any deferments, whatsoever—as a means for the entire Nation to share in the Burden of War, including the children of Congress, as well as those of all of America!

NOTE:  A prior blog post, “Re-Enact the Military Draft!”, provides a more detailed explanation of how the Draft might serve to deter Congress from declaring questionable Wars of Convenience, and to insure the engagement of the American People.

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  1. #1 by skibumb on February 25, 2017 - 6:33 AM

    Actually it was Obama that sent our forces into Afghanistan to pursue Bin Laden, not President Bush. When President Bush and the American forces in Iraq realized that Bin Laden had escaped pursuit and likely ran to Afghanistan, the American forces were ordered to disengage the search and move on against Iraq targets.
    Try getting your facts straight.

    • #2 by cheekos on February 26, 2017 - 3:58 PM

      I guess that Mr. Skibumb wasn’t in the U. S. when George W. Bush, and the Cheney-Rumsfeld Cabal, first deployed troops to Afghanistan, on October 7, 2001–before they ever invaded Iraq (2003). Bin Laden had previously led the Mujahadin, in the 1980s, when it fought the Russians in Afghanistan, with U. S. financial assistance. I am not aware of bin Laden ever operating in Iraq!

      It is easy to check the 2001 date, with a simple computer search; but, perhaps just relying on old-fashioned GOP circular thinking is a good bit easier. That way, they can re-arrange the past, to justify their current ideology, and modify it as they like. And, he suggests that I get my facts straight!

      Lastly, when we engage in long, open-ended wars, like Afghanistan and Iraq, we deplete our Treasury, while China and Russia are ramping-up their respective Militaries. The Pentagon reports that they our foes also watch what our military does well, and where we underperform. And with cyber-intelligence, they can steal our latest technology–which is cheaper than developing their own.

  2. #3 by cheekos on February 27, 2017 - 1:47 AM

    Donald Trump states that anyone who questions the Yemeni raid, that killed Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, does a disservice to the SEAL’s memory. William Owens, Ryan’s father and a Navy Vet, disagrees.

    Mr. Owens declined to meet Trump, when he showed up at the Dover Air Force Base, with family in tow. The Owens family had requested a private family gathering to receive Ryan’s body back home. Mr. Owens has also asked for an investigation as to why–after two years of no action in Yemen–a raid had to be directed, a mere eight days after the Inauguration.

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