The Founders’ Antipathy to Militarism

While the Framers understood the need for a federal government, what concerned them was the possibility that such a government would become a worse menace than no government at all. Their recent experience with the British government – which of course had been their government and against which they had taken up arms – had reinforced what they had learned through their study of history: that the biggest threat to the freedom and well-being of a people was their own government.

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Predictions vs. Reality in Iraq

by Rep Ron Paul

On September 10, 2002  I asked 35 questions regarding war with Iraq. The war resolution passed on October 16, 2002.  Now today, as some of my colleagues try to reestablish credentials regarding spending restraint, I want to call attention to my 18th question from six years ago:

“Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle an already shaky American economy?  How about an estimated 30 year occupation of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to “build democracy” there?”

Many scoffed at my “radical” predictions at the time, regarding them as hyperbole.  Six years later, I am forced to admit that I was wrong.  My “radical” predictions were in fact, not “radical” enough.

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The Constitution, the Executive Branch and War Powers

In reading the Constitution, we can plainly see that Congress possesses the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, to raise and support armies, to grant letters of marque and reprisal, to provide for the common defense,” and even “to declare war.” Congress shares, with the President, the power to make treaties and to appoint ambassadors. As for the Executive, the President is assigned only two powers relating to foreign affairs; commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the power to receive ambassadors.

The United States Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land in our country, delegates the power to declare war to the Congress and the power to wage war to the President. What that means is that only the Congress, as representatives of the People and of the States, can determine whether or not the nation goes to war. If the People, through Congress, decide that the nation shall go to war, the President then, and only then, has the authority to wage it.

Unless the country is being invaded, if the congress does not declare war against another country, the president is constitutionally barred from waging it, no matter how much he desires to do so. This is, again, shown clearly in the following statements:

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Getting out of Iraq: Bringing the Troops Home

by Rep Ron Paul

What will it take to get our troops out of Iraq?   The roughly 70 percent of Americans who are firmly against the war often ask this question.  Those in power are reluctant to give conditions, but when they do and those conditions are met, the goal post is quietly moved.

Voters were promised, passionately and vehemently, that the new Congress would bring our troops home.  Many were explicitly elected in 2006 under that banner.  But our troops are still overseas, funding has been increased even beyond the administration’s wish list, and troop withdrawal has been negotiated away.

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Only Congress Can Declare War

The framers of the Constitution attempted to balance the power of the President as commander-in-chief with that of Congress, the representatives of the People.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power to decide when the United States goes to war.

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