The United States last weekend made aerial bombing and sea-based attacks on the North African country of Libya, obviously to weaken troublemaking Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi, who is being internally challenged by Libyan rebels.
But who in the United States officially declared war on Libya? The Constitution says only Congress has the power to declare war. Congress has not declared war on Libya.
President Barack Obama is not even in Washington, but is on a South American tour.
Yet over the weekend, three U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers flew from Missouri to drop a reported 45 2000-pound bombs on Libyan military targets.
Fifteen U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps aircraft were joined by French and British aircraft to hit a Libyan infantry unit.
The U.S. Navy launched Tomahawk missiles on Libya from the Mediterranean Sea.
Fortunately, there have been no reported American military casualties. Clearly there have been Libyan casualties of undetermined numbers.
Libya’s despotic ruler Gadhafi is an international troublemaker, and his nation has been involved in terrorism — including terrorism against this country. But who in the United States officially declared war on him or his country? No one. This action is a result of a U.N. “resolution” with which our president went along.
What’s next? How shall the United States be further involved?
There are many elements throughout the world that are hostile to the United States and our interests. But should we attack them militarily without a congressional declaration?
The United States was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress on Dec. 8, 1941. Congress declared war — as the Constitution provides.
There have been varied U.S. military actions throughout American history, some declared as the Constitution of the United States requires, some in immediate response to military attacks upon the United States, and some neither in response to attacks nor with declaration by Congress as the Constitution provides.
It is highly troubling for U.S. military forces to go to war without action in clear accord with the Constitution.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Sunday the United States expects to turn control of the military operation over to a coalition of France, Britain and/or NATO “in a matter of days.”
It cannot be soon enough.
We should abide by our Constitution.
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