Senator Rand Paul on Obama’s Unconstitutional Libyan War

Writing an op-ed in the Washington Times, Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky articulated the arguments against the illegal, unconstitutional war in Libya:

President Obama’s decision to involve U.S. military forces in an unconstitutional, unexplained mission in Libya has left many Americans seeking answers and action from Congress. Why has Mr. Obamaignored the public and congressional questions regarding his actions? Why did he thrust our American soldiers into this battle without the consent of Congress? While Senate Democratic leadership has so far not acted, these are questions that the House of Representatives is attempting to have answered.

On June 3, the House passed a resolution demanding that the president provide the American people with specific answers and rational reasoning. So far, Mr. Obama has failed to provide compelling and legitimate logic behind U.S involvement in the Libyan mission. The House is requesting that the president be held accountable for his actions and provide the American people with answers. The U.S. Senate should follow their lead.

Thus far, the United States has provided 93 percent of the cruise missiles, 66 percent of the personnel, 50 percent of the ships and 50 percent of the planes in this Libyan mission. The resources provided are estimated to cost roughly $700 million. I do not see any logic behind such expenditures. Why is America, in a time of economic emergency, spending $700 million to support a war effort that is not of any interest to our nation’s well-being?

Congress should not stand by indolently while a war of choice is being waged on our dime. America cannot financially or emotionally afford another war. Congress must put an end to it. It is our responsibility to defend the Constitution and the American people; thus, I urge my colleagues to remember their loyalties and take this administration off of its unnecessary war path.

Considering that many of my colleagues (and the president himself) have forgotten the war authority of the legislative branch, I am introducing legislation reiterating these powers. Our lawmakers should be on record acknowledging whether they agree that Congress, not the president, has the power to authorize war and, in doing so, recognize that Mr. Obama violated this rule.

Admitting the president violated the Constitution won’t change our situation in Libya. It will, however, send an important message to the chief executive that our Constitution is to be honored and respected. Who’s to say that if he had come to Congress initially he would not have gotten the approval he needed? I would not have voted in support of the engagement, but others likely would have.

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