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Congress has a role in ending forever wars

Capitol building with reflections at dusk

By Concerned Veterans for America

Dan Caldwell, a senior adviser to Concerned Veterans for America and veteran of the Iraq War, wants Congress to reclaim its proper role in deciding questions of war and peace.

He points to broadly written Authorizations for Use of Military Force and overly expansive interpretations of those AUMFs by the executive branch as central to the challenge.

Writing in Newsweek, Caldwell argues that “successive congresses have abdicated their constitutionally prescribed role in foreign policy, allowing four presidential administrations to exploit the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs and stretch their Article II authorities. Multiple military conflicts have been expanded or initiated with minimal congressional oversight and debate.”

A good first step in reversing this unhealthy trend would be repealing the 2002 AUMF, as well as the outdated 1957 and 1991 AUMFs, and revising or repealing the 2001 AUMF that, Caldwell writes, “has been stretched to justify conflicts far afield from its original intent of authorizing operations against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan after 9/11.”

But Congress could do more, including using its power of the purse to cut off or reallocate funding for military operations.

“It is past time for Congress to firmly reassert its role in shaping U.S. foreign policy,” said Caldwell. “After 20 years of endless war, it owes its constituents — including our men and women in uniform — a better foreign policy that prioritizes keeping Americans safe.”

Read the whole thing in Newsweek.