As war tensions escalate, Congress must assert authority

As the Trump administration considers more troops for Afghanistan and greater involvement in the Syrian civil war, Congress can no longer afford to stand idly while its war powers authority is usurped and eroded by the executive branch.


President Donald Trump inherited counterterrorism wars on multiple fronts from his predecessor, Barack Obama, who inherited them from his predecessor, George W. Bush. All sent American forces into battle based on the authority Congress granted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. At the time, al-Qaida was exploiting a power vacuum in Afghanistan to operate training camps and plan the 9/11 attacks. Massive U.S. military deployments in Iraq and Syria were not on lawmakers' minds.


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