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Military Intervention

US Flag on Fence - USA-Focus.org

Am I my brother’s keeper?   (The Bible)

FOUNDING FATHERS’ PERSPECTIVE

“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” (George Washington)

“We should have nothing to do with conquest. It is inconsistent with our government.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

(To be a trading nation)…”will require a protecting force…”“The usual alternative (when fighting) pirates is (paying) tribute or war.” (Thomas Jefferson)

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” (George Washington)

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”  (Thomas Jefferson)

FACTS

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” (John Adams)

◊  In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson was faced with a choice: allow Muslim pirates to continue attacking American merchant ships and endangering American citizens, or to send U.S. troops to punish the attackers. He chose the latter. Monticello.org. “The Barbary War”

◊  The US military forces are in 134 countries – about 70% of the countries on earth – and are either involved in combat, special missions, or advising and training foreign forces. Mint Press News, 9/22/14. McGrath, Timothy. “The US is now involved in 134 wars”.

◊  The U.S maintains nearly 800 military bases in 74 countries at an estimated annual cost of up to $200 billion. The exact figure is unknown due to the Department of Defense – for the past 20 years – refusing to provide an audit as required by law. Politico, July/August, 2015. Vine, David. “Where in the world is the U.S. Military?”.

◊  The U.S. is legally committed to protect and defend 54 countries including Cuba, Turkey, and Venezuela, but not Israel. U.S. Department of State, Diplomacy in Action. “US Collective Defense Arrangements”.

◊  The U.S. spends more on its military than the next eight largest countries combined. Politifact, 1/13/16. Carroll, Lauren. “Obama – U.S. spends more on military than next 8 countries combined”.

◊  The U.S. fought the Gulf War with an “Allied Coalition” of 39 other countries. Of those 39 countries, 11 sent no troops to fight in the war. Of the 670,000 troops who fought in the Gulf War, the U.S. provided 75% of them, and the other 39 countries combined provided 25%. The U.S. additionally paid $10 billion to help fund the war. CNN, 11/16/15. “Gulf War Fast Facts”.

◊  Since 2010, the U.S. has been involved in 21 armed conflicts, several of which are ongoing. Wikipedia – Timeline of U.S. Military Operations.

SUMMARY

American military intervention in the past 50 years has generally not improved the occupied country’s long-term situation, nor increased America’s safety at home. Despite the lack of positive results and the high cost measured in human lives and funding, U.S. military intervention in other countries continues on a large scale.

Questions regarding final authority to involve American military in other nations’ conflicts have not been answered. Both Congress and the President claim Constitutional authority in art. I, § 8, and art. II, § 2).

The War Powers Act of 1973 was an attempt to clarify the roles of Congress and the President in regard to military action, and establish a template for determining boundaries regarding the Constitutional rights of Congress to approve and fund wars (military intervention), and the President’s right to oversee the operation of the war.

The War Powers Act has been widely abused by a number of Presidents.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION

The extremes of this issue must be avoided. A policy of no military intervention is potentially as dangerous and de-stabilizing to the world as unlimited intervention. We must stop allowing the Executive and Legislative branches to abuse the Constitutional provisions for a division of powers in regard to military intervention. The Supreme Court should be petitioned to make a binding interpretation of The War Powers Act, and in the U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, and art. II, § 2.

Brief #4A – June 6, 2016

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