Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why Did Obama Get The UN’s Authorization For Military Action In Libya But Not Congress’?

This is what then-Senator Obama had to say about the President’s use of military actions four years ago:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

Some might say that Obama was getting in a jab at Bush over the wars in Iraq and Afghanitan, but it’s worth noting that both of those military actions had the explicit authorization of Congress. My libertarian friends would argue that because the Authorization for Use of Military Force bills that passed Congress for Iraq and Afghanistan aren’t really declarations of war as required by the Constitution because they don’t use the words “declare war” or something, but I digress.

The point is, America is now involved in a military action in Libya, and whether you agree that military action should be happening or not, President Obama should have gotten the authorization of Congress before beginning. He didn’t.

He got the authorization of the United Nations Security Council, mind you, but not Congress. Kind of speaks volumes about Obama’s views of our nation’s sovereignty, doesn’t it?