In the wake of President Obama’s decision to go to war in Libya without Congressional authorization or debate, there’s a heightened level of public and media cynicism about the ability of any Congress to constrain any Administration on warmaking in any way whatsoever.
This is dangerous. It’s important for Congress to assert its war powers: important to prevent the U.S. from being sucked into another quagmire, important to build pressure for a negotiated resolution in Libya by shutting down the possibility of further military escalation, important for future efforts to prevent and limit U.S. wars that Congress act affirmatively to impose limits.
Unfortunately, the approach of the Administration has limited Congress’ options. Apparently the Administration does not intend to respect the limits Congress enacted in the War Powers Resolution. Thus, although every measure pursued by Members of Congress helps in some way to limit the Administration by adding political pressure, there is a specific need for measures that can attract majority support: the Administration cannot ignore action by the majority that has the force of law.
Read the rest of this entry →