Limiting Presidential War Powers: Consensus-Based Decision

On January 9, 2020, the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress voted 224–194 to pass a non-binding War Powers Resolution to limit the president’s ability to pursue military actions against Iran without congressional consent. It came into limelight after the US-Iran conflict recently.

On January 4, 2020, the White House officially notified Congress that it had carried out a fatal drone strike against Iranian General Qassem Soleimani a day earlier. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the entire document was classified and that it “raises more questions than it answers”. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would set up a classified briefing for all senators. Senator Tim Kaine (D–VA) had already introduced a resolution to prevent the U.S. Armed Forces or any part of the government to use hostilities against Iran. Senator Bernie Sanders (I–VT) and Representative Ro Khanna (D–CA) introduced an anti-funding resolution, also on January 3. The Trump Administration stated that the attack on Qassem Soleimani was carried out in accordance with the War Powers Resolution under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) resolution of 2001. The legalities of using the AUMF for endless conflicts has been a source of debate.

In fact, the importance of War powers is much more worrisome for the rest of the world. It is established fact that the US is military might and has been spending huge on military build-ups around the world. The US defense budget crossed 700 billion US Dollars for the year 2020. The US maintains its military presence all around the world, the huge budget makes its military might possible to attack any country any moment conveniently.

Especially with the background of lethal Weapons of Mass Destructions like Nuclear weapons, which the US is possessing in abundance. Moreover, in the history of humanity, it is only the US, who has used nuclear weapons against any country (Japan).

Traditionally, the US is a democratic country and practices democratic practices – consultation and collective wisdom. The emphasis is on consultation and collective wisdom, as any one individual may make wrong decisions or may ignore certain aspects in the decision-making process, it can be deliberately or unintentionally. Therefore, the democratic process, based on consultations is required to avert any wrong decision.

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President Trump speaking at a rally in Ohio, January 9, 2020

A typical case in the US assassination of Iranian General Qasim Suleimani in Baghdad. Where, the US president has ordered for this attack, without consultation with the US Congress. Even, the US president has not bothered to consult with its NATO allies or Regional Allies in the Middle-East.

I am sure if the discussions or consultation have been held with the US Congress, or NATO Allies or the Regional allied in the Middle-East in advance, Iran misadventure might have been averted. President’s decision was not accepted at home or internationally. Even the common man in the US was not in favor of the Iran War. The international community was also not in favor of the Iran war. Allies were also hesitant to openly support the US in case of escalation of full-scale war. As a result, the US has to retrieve and cooled down the situation.

Limiting one-man show is the need of the time and the US Congress has voted in this favor, which is the right stem in the right direction. I think there is a dire need to strengthen the UN to implement its charter. No nation should be above the UN and no country can take any action without UN discussion and consensus. The UN Charter was composed of competent persons and considered one of the best charters. It should be respected by everyone without any discrimination either big country or small, rich or poor, etc.
We hope all disputes may be settled according to UN Charter and UNSC resolutions on Palestine, Kashmir may be implemented. Syrian war may be addressed according to the UN Charter. The US sanctions on Iran, Russia, and other countries may also be addressed according to the UN charter, no one single country can impose sanctions on other nations unilaterally. Let’s keep on our struggle for global peace.

Reposts are welcomed with the reference to ORIENTAL REVIEW.
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