By: Doug Berge

Apparently Rick Santorum is cut from the same fabric as Barack Obama when it comes to congressional declarations of war, as required by the Constitution.

On Jan. 9, Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum spoke outside MaryAnn’s Café in Manchester, N.H. Once inside, the former Pennsylvania senator told one customer that he would use a strategic military strike against Iran, claiming that this strike would not be considered an act of war. When the customer asked Santorum if he would ask for authorization from Congress to initiate a military strike, Santorum said he would consult Congress, but didn’t need to ask permission because Obama didn’t need permission to strike Libya.

Santorum engages in some “fuzzy math.” He apparently thinks two wrongs somehow make a right. Santorum sounds more like a third-grader justifying his position to little Jonnie regarding the rules in the playground. Only this is about American soldiers’ lives and Americas’ future. And the last time we checked a “strategic military strike” was an act of war.

Article I, section 8, clause 11 of the United States Constitution says, “The Congress shall have power…To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water.” Nothing in our Constitution gives the president the power to unilaterally order a strategic military strike the way we’ve seen in recent years.

A good offense might make a good defense, but the Constitution is the Constitution, and a good offense requires a declaration of war from Congress.

The War Powers Act of 1973 states in section 2, paragraph (a), “It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgment of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.” Paragraph (c) states; “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

The first question that immediately comes to mind here is: if the War Powers Act was really passed with the intent stated – “It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of