Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2012
Reclaiming the War Power

The 113th Congress should
  • insist that U.S. armed forces not be deployed to areas where hostilities are likely or imminent unless and until both houses of Congress have approved such action;
  • defund any such deployment that lacks the prior approval of Congress;
  • insist that no aggressive action be taken by U.S. armed forces unless and until Congress has passed a declaration of war;
  • oppose any effort to reshape national security doctrine in a manner that denies congressional supremacy over the war power; and
  • impeach any president who orders aggressive/offensive action by U.S. armed forces without a declaration of war.
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No constitutional principle is more important than congressional control over the decision to go to war. In affairs of state, no more momentous decision can be made. For that reason, in a democratic republic, it is essential that that decision be made by the most broadly representative body: the legislature. As James Madison put it in 1793: ‘‘In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture of heterogeneous powers, the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man.’’
Reclaiming the War Power - The Cato Institute

next: U.S Security Strategy

Long-Range Considerations

War is an ancient practice. It is no longer a viable option. Nations possess weapons which can annihilate hundreds of millions of people. The ancient philosophers never considered modern realities. We need to re-think war on a fundamental philosophical level.

Let's begin with a simple analogy. Suppose the police receive a tip that your next-door neighbor has a bomb. Would you approve the carpet-bombing of your entire neighborhood as a means of dealing with this madman? Would you want your entire neighborhood bombed "back to the stone age?" No, you would want the bomb-sniffing dogs to go into your neighbor's house to find the bomb and the bomb squad to carefully disarm it, with the smallest possible risk to the bomb-owner's neighbors.

Suppose the police department sealed off the entire neighborhood -- your house included -- and would not allow anyone in the neighborhood to buy food, medical supplies, or do business with anyone outside the police perimeter, until the bomber (who was a powerful multi-millionaire who was still able to get all the supplies he wanted) voluntarily turned over the bomb? This is called "sanctions," and along with carpet-bombing has been our national policy towards the madman Saddam Hussein. Millions of innocent people have died as a result of these policies. This is morally unacceptable.

The "Just War" theory also does not consider one of the most striking features of modern geo-politics: government-funded enemies. Our government -- claiming to guarantee our "security" -- has been active in selling bombs to madmen like Saddam Hussein. America's enemies are the best enemies money can buy.

The Libertarian Party is actively formulating policies that would privatize national defense in a way that maximizes security and liberty and minimizes blanket destruction.