By: Christopher Preble

What is the kernel of the issue?

Congress has neglected to exercise one of its most sacred obligations: oversight of the nation’s wars. The President has the authority to use force to repel invasion or stop other direct and imminent threats to US national security, but may not otherwise initiate the use of force without prior congressional approval.

Why is the issue important?

Strong, bipartisan public support is essential to a sustainable foreign policy. Public debate and deliberation is the best mechanism for ensuring such support exists, or mobilizing support if it does not. Members of Congress should be expected to carry out their duties under the Constitution.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should push for the repeal of the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force, commit to comply with all relevant conditions contained within the War Powers Resolution of 1973, and reaffirm that the Constitution vested war powers in the Congress, not the Executive Branch.