Make Going To War Harder

Apr 12 2012 @ 5:38pm

by Patrick Appel

Maddow's new book focuses on war powers. Kevin Drum summarizes her argument:

When we go to war, we should raise taxes to pay for it. We should get rid of the secret military. The reserves should go back to being reserves. We should cut way back on the contractors and let troops peel their own potatoes. And above all, Congress should start throwing its weight around again. It's fine to criticize presidents for accreting ever more power to themselves, but what do you expect when Congress just sits back and allows it happen? Our real problem is congressional cowardice: they don't want the responsibility of declaring war, but they also don't want the responsibility of stopping it. So they punt, and war becomes ever more a purely executive function. 

Jonathan Bernstein agrees that Congress is the main culprit.