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A handful

Washington Post Writers Group Published: January 17, 2013
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Congress' power to declare war has atrophied since it was last exercised (against Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary on June 5, 1942). Should Congress authorize America's wars?

About the War Powers Resolution

In 2011, President Obama, using a passive syntax, said our military “is being volunteered by others to carry out missions” in Libya. The original rationale for this — before mission meander embraced regime change — was “R2P,” the responsibility to protect civilians. Do you support applying this doctrine to Syria? If removing Moammar Gadhafi was an important U.S. interest, why was it, and when did it become so? Do you dispute the illegality of Obama's ignoring the War Powers Resolution that requires military interventions to end after 60 days, absent congressional approval?

In 1949, one of NATO's founders said its purpose was “to keep the Americans in (Europe), the Germans down and the Russians out.” What is its purpose now? Given that U.S. military spending is three times larger than the combined spending of NATO's other 27 members, is it not obvious that those nations feel no threat?

Bonus question: Might fewer than 54,000 U.S. forces in Germany suffice to defend that country, or Western Europe, from whatever threat they are there to deter?

WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP