Congress must uphold its duty as it pertains to military conflicts

As hardliners in the United States and Iran escalate tensions between the two countries the question as to how our country makes the decision to engage in military conflict is more important than ever.

Common Cause believes the Constitution gives sole power to the Congress to declare war and raise an army. And the President, in his role as Commander and Chief, has the power to conduct those wars.

While the War Powers Resolution of 1973 attempted to clarify the powers of the two branches, the executive and legislative branches continue to wrestle with how to share the power of war and peace, as they have over the passed 200 or more years.

“Despite unanimous agreement among 16 intelligence agencies that Iran has halted its nuclear arms program, we still have an Administration that is willing to use bellicose language when we should be talking about diplomatic means to relieve the tensions between the two countries,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause.

“In today’s context of a ‘global war on terror,’ it is more important than ever that Congress uphold its duty as it pertains to military conflict. Any decision to initiate conflict with Iran must be made with the approval of Congress, through a transparent congressional debate, rigorous analysis of all intelligence and facts, and full consideration of the short term and long term ramifications of such action.”

Edgar made his comments at a town hall forum sponsored by Win Without War Tuesday night at George Washington University in Washington DC.