Bipartisan Senators Seek to Strip Biden of War Powers

Mish

At long last we see action to kill war power authorizations used by three presidents.

Senators Go After Endless Wars

In a long overdue effort Bipartisan Senators Introduce Bill to Strip Biden of War Powers.

Sens. Tim Kaine and Todd Young on Wednesday introduced bipartisan legislation that would repeal decades-old authorizations for the use of military force in the Middle East, amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the region.

Kaine (D-Va.) and Young (R-Ind.) unveiled the measure as lawmakers have expressed frustration with President Joe Biden’s decision to launch airstrikes in Syria last week without first seeking congressional approval. It also comes just hours after an Iraqi military base housing U.S. troops and civilian contractors was hit by rocket attacks.

The bill would repeal the 1991 and 2002 authorizations that cleared the way for a prolonged military conflict in Iraq, culminating in calls from Democrats and Republicans alike to end the so-called “forever wars” in the region.

Senators from across the ideological spectrum signed onto the Kaine-Young bill as co-sponsors on Wednesday, including Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

“Last week’s airstrikes in Syria show that the executive branch, regardless of party, will continue to stretch its war powers,” Kaine said. “Congress has a responsibility to not only vote to authorize new military action, but to repeal old authorizations that are no longer necessary.”

Biden angered congressional Democrats when he launched airstrikes against Iran-backed military installations in Syria, with lawmakers lamenting that the White House did not consult with Congress ahead of time and did not properly notify them about the strikes.

Congress has largely abdicated its constitutional authority to declare war, and presidents from both parties have used outdated authorizations to legally justify U.S. military action — including, and perhaps most notably, the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against al Qaeda and the Taliban, which was approved in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. The Kaine-Young bill, though, only deals with the 1991 and 2002 measures, which are entirely focused on Iraq.

No Longer Necessary?!

Not quite. Those bills were never necessary and never should have been passed at all, in any form.

Bush, Obama, and Trump all made terrible use of those bills. 

Congress and Congress alone should authorize war and be damn careful when it does. 

Warmongers on both sides, notably Hillary Clinton, agreed to fight a stupid second war with Iraq on what any reasonable person should have seen as a pack of lies by Bush and Cheney. 

We are still there needlessly and senselessly. 

Republicans would not strip Trump but some will be happy to strip Biden. Better late than never, but still not enough.

One Step Further

Congress should go one step further and set a timeline for all troops to return from everywhere starting with the Mideast and Cuba, preferably immediately.

Mish

Comments (33)
No. 1-16
Eddie_T
Eddie_T

The only bad part is that we will then have to depend on a very moribund and dysfunctional congress to do their job, which seems unlikely, somehow.

But I guess I support this. I agree that the executive has usurped the war power and abused it to no end. But I’m not sure this will change anything...but it’s a good sign

KidHorn
KidHorn

But, this will interfere with the democrats plan to make sure the people of Syria can never live a happy and peaceful life.

8 Replies

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Really? As I recall Bush I and Bush II got us into Iraq twice and Afghanistan. Trump assassinated a general and almost started wwIII. But yeah Dems as bad.

KidHorn
KidHorn

Obama droned the hell out of Syria. Under the guise of them wanting Assad out of power. But, in reality he did so because they were allies with the evil Putin. Trump did everything he could to get us out of Syria. And now Biden bombs Syria for whatever reason he could drum up.

Where you aware that Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are different countries?

Corvinus
Corvinus

You have a pretty myopic view about foreign wars and intervention. Not surprising since your take on politics is basically Democrats=Good; Republicans=bad.

njbr
njbr

Sad putzes, Trump launched more attacks than anyone else and loosened controls.

OHH no, not my cheeto god..

Within the first two years of his administration, Trump launched far more drone and lethal strikes than Obama. According to a Daily Beast analysis, Trump launched 238 drone strikes in 2017 and 2018. During Obama’s first two years in office, in 2009 and 2010, his administration launched 186 strikes. As of this writing, according to Airwars, Trump has launched 205 declared strikes in Yemen and 196 in Somalia. In fact, a recent Airwars report suggests that Trump may have ordered more attacks in Yemen than all previous U.S. presidents combined, with anywhere between 86 to 154 civilians killed.

Just as Trump entered office, he relinquished constraints on the U.S. military and CIA to conduct air and drone strikes and raids around the world as part of the “war on terror.” In March 2017, the Trump administration gave the CIA new authority to launch drone strikes against suspected terrorists without permission from the Pentagon or the White House. This departs from the Obama administration’s approach, particularly in the later years, when the CIA typically used drones to locate suspected terrorists and the U.S. military launched the actual strikes. Before Trump, Pakistan was the one country where the CIA had a near monopoly to launch drone strikes.

Along with the CIA, the U.S. military has fewer constraints when it comes to doing damage around the world. The United States has been conducting lethal strikes in Yemen and Somalia for the past decade. However, the U.S. never officially declared war against either country. They lie outside the conventional battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, which the United States actually invaded and occupied.

In March 2017, however, the Trump administration declared parts of Yemen and Somalia to be areas “of active hostilities” for at least 180 days. This gave the military wider latitude to conduct offensive strikes in both countries and loosened protections for civilians.

Trump also removed the Obama-era rules that required a “near certainty” of no civilian deaths for drone strikes launched outside of official war zones. On top of that, Trump recently removed, via executive order in 2019, the U.S. government’s reporting on civilian deaths by drones.

Trump’s loosening of restrictions exacerbated a set of already-hawkish policies. While Obama had some constraints, his administration still gave ample authority to the CIA and military to launch drone and other lethal strikes around the world.

KidHorn
KidHorn

We're talking about Syria. Not about what Trump did in other countries. Or anything in other countries. The democrats have been trying to get rid of Assad for over a decade now. Trump was trying to get the US out of Syria. It's that simple. The democrats state they're doing it because of chemical weapons or the Kurds. it's all BS. They're doing it because Syria is allied with Russia and Iran. And because the Saudi's hate Shiites.

Anda
Anda

Most of US and western aggression was via fsa, and later sdf, so it doesn't show. Add to that IS and however you place US/Saudi/Israel/"Israel" backing or responsibility wrt. The few strikes carried out by Trump against Syria proper are more along the lines of what Israel/"Israel" does

and often under dubious accusation. The Syrian army was already pushing back opposition by the time Trump arrived, and seems to me he pretty much let that continue. The whole show is so tangled I would hesitate in absolving anyone, but sure dems were very geared into the overthrow of Assad, EU as well was mixed into that.

Call_me_Al
Call_me_Al

Gobsmacked.

Shame on anyone trying to frame the issue by contrasting the reprehensible acts of one administration versus another in an effort to put one of them in a better (worse) light. The last three administrations have perpetuated and expanded a destructive crusade. Each used their 'authority' in a manner that led to millions of people suffering and an unknown number dying.

"“No one is immune from a strike. This is nothing short of terror, the kind of terror that makes children afraid of sunny days. We are not fighting a finite army. A person becomes a ‘terrorist’ when they say they are. If, as General McChrystal has suggested, five new terrorists are created when there is a strike, when will these ‘wars’ end? All of this warrants a public debate, this film starts the necessary conversation.”"

ohno
ohno

As if these presidents come in knowing everything about foreign countries, the wars, etc. The playbook keeps going regardless. If this passes it will create huge problems for the autonomous military as they use the president to make it look like it's his doing. Please. Biden has no freaking clue.

BillSanDiego
BillSanDiego

Yeah, good luck with that. Congress has been "making noise" for many years about presidents "acting without the authority of Congress," but they have never actually done anything about it and this time will be no different.

Scooot
Scooot

It would certainly remove any element of surprise.

Rather than going from one extreme to another perhaps it would be better to have a smaller group of congressmen that are involved in the decision making process and oversight?

Sechel
Sechel

Iran is testing Biden. This is what they do. Biden responded in a measured way. It's necessary for any serious Iran deal to be tough going in. This wasn't anything remote to Trump's taking out of an Iranian General which almost started a serious conflict

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Tim Kaine sure looks like a man training for a heart attack.

Bungalow Bill
Bungalow Bill

March 4, coming up on noon. Biden is still POTUS? LOL

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

Would be nice, but then the next Republican president would be hamstrung, after all they were the warmongers of 1991 and 2003. So I don't see the party of nihilism doing any such thing.

Doug78
Doug78

We have been at war continually since 1939 and that is not going to stop anytime soon. We have a sort of empire and once acquired it it is dangerous to give it up just as Pericles said to the Athenian assembly during the Peloponnesian War. Running an empire requires military actions both open and covert and has to be coordinated with the diplomatic and economic sphere. The risk is in getting involved in military actions that suck up resources, solders and political capital with no corresponding benefit like what happened in the Sicilian Expedition and in Vietnam. In principle Congress should be the one to declare wars but wars are no longer declared. They just happen so that function of Congress has little meaning. Congress does control the purse strings and has ultimate control and responsibility. The problem is that Congress is really bad at running wars and even worse at keeping secrets but they can control the money and they have the power to use it already therefore I conclude that this is just grandstanding for the folks back home.

Jcbl
Jcbl

Long overdue and I hope it happens. Too bad it took a senile President to get some motion on this.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Gold is testing support and trying to base at 1700. I bought the fun trade. I don’t think 1700 fails on the first try. Ready to step out if I’m wrong.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

The military industrial complex will veto any such bill.

Jackula
Jackula

Baby step in a positive direction. Reining in executive orders is badly needed as well.

PostCambrian
PostCambrian

I think that a better way to state the headline is that ".... strip the President of war powers ....". It isn't a Biden thing, it is a Congressional abdication of authority thing.

PostCambrian
PostCambrian

I think that a better way to state the headline is that ".... strip the President of war powers ....". It isn't a Biden thing, it is a Congressional abdication of authority thing.


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