04 Mar Should the US declare war on ISIS?
In 2016 alone, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has taken the responsibility of several attacks around the world. The mission of spreading ISIS ideology has claimed lives of several innocent people and wounded many more in the US as well as other parts of the world. This has unfolded the ongoing debate about how the world should respond to the threat that ISIS poses. Now before directly jumping into the discussion let’s consider how can a war be declared on ISIS. Many believe that President Trump can declare war on ISIS however that is not in his discretion.
Article 1, Section 2 provides: “The Congress shall have the power… To declare war…”
Article 2, Section 2, provides: “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the US…”
This means that the President doesn’t have the power to declare war and Congress can’t be the Commander in Chief.
If this is so then what allowed Eisenhower to send an army to Lebanon, Johnson bomb North Vietnam, Reagan send troops to Grenada, Clinton to bomb Serbia, Panama invasion, Libya war and the list goes on. If it is evident from the past that war can be declared if found necessary, then the question arises that should the US formally declare war on ISIS.
Some lawmakers want to vote on ISIS war as President Trump now wish to ramp up operations, and Democrats and Republicans are divided on the idea of authorization of a war with ISIS for whether the battle if started will be legal or not. Trump administration has deployed more US troops to Iraq and Syria and has increased operations in Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East, it automatically increases pressure on Congress to legally and formally start a war against ISIS.
According to Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy war with ISIS is not legal, he says: “I haven’t thought that this war against ISIS is constitutionally authorized from the beginning, now that we are talking about a potentially massive increase in troop presence, we need to put some boundaries around it congressionally.”
The conflict of thoughts is not going to end soon because the White House has yet to make a solid stance on the current scenario, and the Trump administration says it has all the legal authority to carry out its campaign against ISIS even without the approval of Congress. Some Democrats predicted that US President could force Congress hand to pass an authorization for war if he wishes to dive into a war.
American military in response to the terrorist activities by ISIS have responded strongly time and again; from rocket strikes to helicopter attacks military is doing its job, but Congress is refusing to do its duty. Lawmakers are continually ducking their responsibility for drafting legislation for war.
President Trump in his election campaign vowed to declare war against ISIS and this time it is a war-like state with ISIS in Syria. Around 2000 ground troops are already present in the conflict zone. If we go through the arguments of both the sides, then those who believe that US should go for a direct war with ISIS argue that vanishing of such a radical extremist group is necessary for the US and the presence of ISIS should be wiped as soon as possible. Opponents believe that indulging in a war will not only increase the casualties of US army troops in a foreign land but also may result in another failed foreign invasion. The history is evident that indulgence of US troops in Vietnam and Iraq has only let down the US government in the eyes of American citizens.
It now looks evident that Congress doesn’t want to make these decisions right now, especially since they might come back and start the debate in election time which sounds disgraceful. National security can’t be put on stakes to get political gains. This matter needs to be addressed by Congress and that too Congress must come up with a decision soon.