As a Navy veteran, I’m familiar with the heavy responsibilities and costs of making war. As an elected official sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, I’m also mindful that our Founding Fathers constitutionally authorized Congress to declare war, and Congress alone.
Unfortunately, our federal government has strayed from that founding model during the interminable “War on Terror” in which we’ve been mired for nearly two decades, during which Congress has ceded its war-making authority to the executive branch. As a result, our military has been dispatched by multiple administrations to bleed and die on foreign missions that lack popular support, clear and compelling national interests or anything resembling a moral imperative.
Legitimate aims such as suppressing specific threats to America’s homeland or safeguarding essential national interests abroad are no longer the objective of our self-sacrificing military. Instead, Congress passes nebulous “use of force authorizations” that assign our troops the dubious and undefined task of “making the world safe for democracy,” an obligation that doesn’t fall to the United States, its military or its taxpayers.