War Powers Resolution

Thank the House for Rejecting the Saudi War in Yemen

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to prohibit U.S. participation in the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen, when it passed the Davidson and Nolan amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act [NDAA].

Support the House action by signing our petition at MoveOn.

The Davidson [R-OH] amendment prohibits U.S. military action in Yemen not authorized by the 2001 AUMF. U.S. participation in the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen is not targeting Al Qaeda or ISIS and is not authorized by the 2001 AUMF. Davidson's amendment would block the U.S. refueling of Saudi and UAE warplanes bombing Yemen.

The Nolan [D-MN] amendment prohibits the deployment of U.S. troops to participation in Yemen's civil war. Nolan's amendment would block the U.S. refueling of Saudi and UAE warplanes bombing Yemen.

Tell your representatives in Washington that you support the House action and that U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's Yemen war should end immediately by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Stand with Cicilline: Demand Trump stop escalating in Syria

The Trump Administration has escalated U.S. military attacks against forces associated with the Syrian government - without Congressional authorization. Under the Constitution, such military actions should not happen if they have not been authorized by Congress.

The U.S. military engaged in strikes against pro-government forces on May 18, June 6, and June 8, and shot down armed Iranian-made drones in Southern Syria on June 8 and June 20. On June 18 a U.S. fighter aircraft shot down a Syrian SU-22 bomber, marking the first time the U.S. has downed a manned Syrian aircraft in the course of the Syrian conflict. On June 26, the White House released a statement threatening further military action against the Syrian government.

The key to preventing U.S. military escalation in Syria is getting Members of Congress to speak up in writing against it. In 2013, U.S. military escalation in Syria was prevented because Members of Congress signed letters insisting that President Obama come to Congress for authorization before taking military action.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Vice Chair Rep. David Cicilline [D-RI] is circulating a letter to President Trump demanding that Trump stop escalating in Syria without Congressional authorization.

Urge your Representative to join the Cicilline letter by signing our petition.

Assert War Powers to Challenge Trump's Escalations in Syria & Yemen

Late on Monday, June 26, the White House threatened military escalation against the Syrian government. US defense officials reached by BuzzFeed News said they were unaware the White House was planning to release its statement. Military officials were caught off guard by the White House statement, the New York Times reported.

Urge your representatives to assert Congress' war powers to challenge Trump's military escalations by signing our petition at MoveOn.

As Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote at the Washington Post, "While Washington is fixated on President Trump’s tweets, antics, lies and Russiagate, the administration is ramping up a stealth escalation of our military involvement across the Middle East."

Congress has never authorized the use of military force against the Syrian government, just as it has never authorized U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress, not the President, decides if the U.S. should use military force against the Syrian government, so long as the Syrian government has not attacked the United States. Attacking Syria without Congressional authorization is an impeachable offense.

Trump has unleashed the Saudi monarchy. The House must act

Saudi Arabia's extremist monarchy is out of control, and the Trump Administration has proved unwilling or unable to rein it in.

This week, Saudi Arabia's monarchy elevated as its heir Mohammed bin Salman - the man most responsible for the Saudi war and blockade in Yemen that has deliberately pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and ignited a deadly cholera outbreak across the country. [1]

Then, when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Saudi Arabia to articulate "reasonable and actionable" demands for ending its blockade of U.S. ally Qatar - which hosts the largest U.S. base in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia responded by demanding that Qatar shut down broadcaster Al Jazeera, expel non-Qataris from Qatar, stop funding other news outlets including Middle East Eye, and shut down Qatari diplomatic posts in Iran.

Left to its own devices, the Trump Administration is not going to save millions of Yemenis from Saudi-imposed famine. Saudi Arabia has defied the UN Security Council's call for ceasefire. Congress must act.

Urge your Representative to force a House vote on withdrawing U.S. backing from Saudi Arabia's war by signing our petition at MoveOn.

House: Back UN Call for Saudi-Yemen Cease-fire to Stop Cholera & Famine

On June 15, the United Nations Security Council unanimously called for a cease-fire in the conflict between the Saudi-UAE coalition and the Houthi-Saleh forces in Yemen. "The U.N. Security Council urged the warring parties in Yemen on Thursday to immediately agree on a cease-fire and keep all ports open for humanitarian aid to confront the threat of famine and the rapid spread of cholera," AP reported.

Urge your Rep. to force a House vote to back the UN call for ceasefire.

On June 13, using the Arms Export Control Act to force a floor vote, the U.S. Senate narrowly failed to block an arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Senators opposed to the deal stressed the need to end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen rather than escalate it.

"The Saudi-led war in Yemen has created a humanitarian disaster," Senator Bernie Sanders said. "Millions are at the risk of starvation...the chaos in Yemen has also been strategically disastrous for the United States, providing fertile ground for the extremist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS...it is long past time that we begin to take a very hard look at our relationship with Saudi Arabia...it is important that we begin to discuss...the decades long effort by Saudi Arabia to export an ultra-reactionary form of Islam throughout the world."

Tell Trump: he has 48 hours to report on his unauthorized Syria strike

On Thursday, April 6, President Trump attacked Syria without Congressional authorization, violating the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.

Following Nixon's unauthorized escalations of the Vietnam War, the Congressional Framers of the War Powers Resolution knew that it was likely that future Presidents would try to use military force without Congressional authorization. That's why they put multiple mechanisms in the WPR to help future Congresses defend their war powers.

One of those mechanisms was the requirement that the President report in writing to Congress within 48 hours of using military force without a declaration of war, stating: "(A) the circumstances necessitating the introduction of United States Armed Forces; (B) the constitutional and legislative authority under which such introduction took place; and (C) the estimated scope and duration of the hostilities or involvement."

On April 7, Reps. Peter DeFazio [OR-], Mark Pocan [WI-2], Barbara Lee [CA-13], and James McGovern [MA-2] sent a letter to Trump reminding him that under the War Powers Resolution, he has 48 hours to report to Congress on his unauthorized strike.

Add your voice to those of DeFazio, Pocan, Lee and McGovern by signing our petition at MoveOn.

Should we give one man the power to start a nuclear war?

Under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, Congress has the sole authority to initiate the use of force if the U.S. is not under armed attack. But during the Cold War, a bizarre exception to this basic idea of our democracy was introduced and tolerated: the President could start a nuclear war on his own say-so. It was a horrible policy then. There's certainly no excuse for it now. Right now, President Trump could launch thousands of nuclear weapons on his own say-so.

Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ted Lieu have introduced legislation – the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act – that would limit the ability of Trump - or any President - to launch nuclear weapons without Congressional action. The Act would require congressional authorization in order to use nuclear weapons, except in response to an incoming nuclear attack.

Urge Congress to support the Markey-Lieu bill by signing our joint petition with Win Without War and Daily Kos.

TODAY: Help me press Durbin, Duckworth in Chicago on Saudi-Yemen war powers

President Trump has already "increased logistical support" for the Saudi bombing of Houthis in Yemen. Trump Administration officials are threatening to conduct drone strikes against the Houthis. But Congress never authorized this war. Under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress could force a debate and vote on what Trump is doing. Unfortunately, we haven't got a single Member of Congress to agree to do this yet.

That’s why I'm going to visit the offices of Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth in Chicago today (February 7th, 2017). I'm going to deliver the Illinois signatures on this petition, urging Durbin and Duckworth to stand up on Saudi-Yemen war powers before Trump can further escalate the war.

Here's how you can help:

1. Call Durbin's Chicago office at 312-353-4952 and/or Duckworth's Chicago office at (312) 886-3506. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say:

"I urge Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth to invoke the War Powers Resolution to force Congressional debate on Trump's escalation of the Saudi war in Yemen."

When you've made your call(s), please report that below.

2. Sign and share our petition if you haven't already. If you already signed and shared, please share it again.

Congress: Debate and Vote Before New Libya War

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to significantly escalate U.S. military action in Libya. Administration officials say the campaign in Libya could begin in a matter of weeks.

Urge Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibility to debate and vote before U.S. military escalation in Libya by signing our petition at MoveOn:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/congress-debate-vote-before-new-libya-war

This escalation is being planned without a meaningful debate in Congress about the merits and risks of a military campaign, the New York Times notes. Pentagon officials have not made a case that the proposed military action has achievable goals, and airstrikes could lead to a ground war.

If Congress takes no action, endless war will likely be extended to a new country, without time limit, without restrictions on the use of U.S. ground troops, and without any limit on who can be targeted, even if they have never attacked the United States nor shown any public inclination to do so.

Urge Congress to exercise its responsibilities under the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution by debating and voting on U.S. military escalation in Libya before it happens by signing and sharing our petition:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/congress-debate-vote-before-new-libya-war

Just Foreign Policy statement on the President's speech

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2014

Contact:
Robert Naiman, Policy Director 
naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
(202) 448-2898 x1

Just Foreign Policy Statement in Response to President Obama’s Statement on Plans for Military Escalation in Iraq & Syria

Washington, DC- Just Foreign Policy released the following statement by Policy Director Robert Naiman, in response to President Obama’s statement concerning his plans for U.S. military escalation in Iraq and Syria:

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We are deeply troubled by President Obama’s apparent claims that he does not need and will not seek Congressional authorization to continue airstrikes in Iraq and expand them to Syria, nor to expand the arming and training of insurgents in Syria, which arming has contributed to the present strength of ISIS. Obama was right when he told the Boston Globe as a Presidential candidate in December 2007, “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.” President Obama was right to seek Congressional authorization for bombing Syria last year. He is wrong not to seek authorization now.