“Whatever differences they may claim, Democratic and Republican politicians are aligned when it comes to foreign meddling,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush both resort to war in the end.”
The president cites the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to justify dropping bombs 13 years later. But its approval by Congress applied only to nations or groups that “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks. The Islamic State (IS) did not exist in 2001 and is an enemy of al Qaeda.
Even if the AUMF could be applied, the Constitution requires that Congress vote specifically on a declaration of war before engaging in military action. For the same reason, the 2002 Iraqi War was also illegal.
Last week, congressmen and women refused to vote on a war declaration. Instead they authorized funding to arm and train “appropriately vetted” Syrian fighters.
“This is wildly reckless and irresponsible,” said Sarwark. “The old parties in Congress just spent $20 billion arming and training Iraqi soldiers, only to see U.S. military weapons land in the hands of the Islamic State. This new measure could end up arming future enemies in Syria as well.”
Obama has admitted that IS presents no immediate threat to the United States.
“The bigger threat is endless war and a heightened risk of terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens as a result of military intervention,” Sarwark said.
The Libertarian Party and its candidates call for getting out and staying out of Iraq and Syria.