As a new administration begins, it’s a time for hope, but yet for concern.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States military has entered at least 15 violent conflicts, with 10 ongoing. None has been approved by Congress in the manner prescribed by the Constitution. Decision-making has been done by a combination of military leaders, intelligence agencies, the President and the Cabinet.
Of all these, only the President is elected by the people, and is highly dependent on the advice of this huge corps of people with vested interests (although they may be very patriotic). The voice of the people often is not heard in these deliberations, and only later will the government release information intended to persuade us to the policy chosen by the administration.
Too often we’ve seen a rush to war, later regretted, as in Vietnam, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, our longest-running, seemingly endless war.
Presidents’ rationales for unilaterally waging war have changed: from the Tonkin Resolution of the Vietnam era to Authorizations for the Use of Military Force of 2001, and 2002. In the platform he ran on, President-Elect Biden endorsed a return to the requirement of a joint Congressional Declaration of War. He could change his mind, oppose AUMF repeal, and continue fighting in 10 places around the world. It’s time for repeal. It’s time for peace.
Robert M. Burton, MD
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!