Last week, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a declaration of war against The Islamic State. US News reports, “Paul’s legislation would repeal the 2002 Iraq War authorization, an action the Obama administration supports, and would set a one-year timer on the 2001 anti-al-Qaida authorization, which the administration currently cites as allowing the war against the Islamic State group.”
Defenders of the Senator say that his proposal is an attempt to have President Obama, and Congress, obey the Constitutional provision that Congress declare war. However, others see his draft declaration as a sign that he’s more interventionist than his father, former Congressman Ron Paul.
Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin says, “He’s moving himself so much to the right to position himself for a presidential run that people are not going to recognize who he is and what he stands for.” Adding, “If people want a candidate who’s going to be pro-intervention, they might as well vote for Hillary Clinton or any number of Republicans who will throw their hat in the ring.”
The proposal from Senator Paul would attempt to limit the use of ground troops to only those actions “necessary for the protection or rescue of members of the United States Armed Forces or United States citizens from imminent danger posed” by The Islamic State, “for limited operations against high value targets; or as necessary for advisory and intelligence gathering operations.”
On the one hand that “limits” the scope of operations well beyond what President Obama is seeking. On the other hand, Justin Raimondo from Antiwar.com says, “Paul’s attempt to limit the introduction of ground troops will never hold,” adding that an attempt to do so will “likely to backfire and simply open the door to a wider war.”
Ron Paul told Charles Goyette when he was on Congress, he introduced a declaration of war against Afghanistan, not because he wanted a war, rather he wanted to hold his colleagues accountable. The proposed war against The Islamic State, he said is different because it would not be a war against a recognized country, and could be akin to issuing a declaration of war against “terrorism.” That’s to say, it would be an endless war against an unknown enemy, that could never really be won, and could lead to more liberties being infringed for the sake of “keeping you safe.”
Though, in the long run, it doesn’t really matter if a declaration of war is passed by Congress or not, as long as the President and Congress want to intervene in nearly every conflict around the world and keep troops in nearly every country around the globe.