There is so much that divides us these days. It’s rare that two groups that disagree much of the time can put aside their differences for a common goal.
But for American veterans, our service and dedication to each other is stronger than political differences. We wore the uniform together, and we’ll continue to fight together to protect our own.
This year, Concerned Veterans for America and VoteVets joined forces to advance a more restrained American foreign policy. We’re calling on members of Congress to be more accountable to their constituents and fulfill their constitutional duty to oversee military action.
We’ve already seen some progress in Washington this year. CVA Executive Director Nate Anderson and VoteVets Chairman John Soltz wrote in a recent op-ed that Congress is showing “hopeful signs” it will reassert itself into foreign policy decisions:
One of the most significant moves toward restoring the balance of power was the passage of a measure that would effectively bar the president from taking offensive military action against Iran without approval from Congress. Cosponsored by two unlikely allies, Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., an outspoken Trump supporter, and Ro Khanna, D-Calif., a co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, this provision would enforce the law, by making clear that the president has no authority to use any existing AUMF to launch an offensive attack against Iran, requiring Congress to debate, approve and authorize offensive military action against that country.
A majority of members in both the House and Senate have now voted in support of restricting the executive branch and reasserting the legislative branch in matters of war, just as the Constitution outlines.
As Anderson and Soltz note, rethinking our foreign policy will not be easy. But tough decisions and accountability are necessary to ensure the safety of our servicemembers and wise use of our resources.
We’re hopeful that our unlikely partnership will inspire lawmakers to consider our brothers and sisters in uniform by keeping us out of conflicts that are not in our national interest.