Executive War Powers: Light Years from Constitution

On April 5th, President Donald Trump unilaterally ordered a missile strike on Syria. And, in an increasingly common tradition for American presidents, the military action was neither executed with the consent of congress, nor was it in response to any attack on the United States. While lobbing a few projectiles from afar seemed the limit of this particular action, and even though the media and general public have moved on to other things, because the ongoing illegal use of war-making powers by the executive branch represents one of the greatest ways Washington is destroying limited government in America, this topic still merits examination.

The first thing we should consider is “What is an act of war?” While some definition may quibble over details that don’t necessarily hold for all instances, such as whether it is required that such an act be done to provoke a larger engagement, it’s generally understood to be a military attack by one sovereign country against another. President Franklin Roosevelt, the last U.S. President to call for a declaration of war, rightly cited that the attack on Pearl Harbor created an ongoing state of war between the United States and the Empire of Japan, and few reasonable …

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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)

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