The ISIS crisis
It seems as though issues with Middle Eastern affairs have quickly become the most prevelant controversy in the media today. For the most part, people have become lapsed from foreign affairs, but this is not an issue to shy away from.
The problem with this mindset is that this is a problem that will be prevalent in years to come. This burden will be on our shoulders and we’ll be the taxpayers and voters that will deal with the situation bestowed upon us by generations past.
We’ve all been watching the news and been informed that the United States of America has entered into a war with ISIS, but are we actually in a war?
Why are we even calling it a war?
President Obama recently declared that the United States, along with the help of several Middle Eastern allies, would be launching an airborne attack against the leaders of ISIS. The media immediately began covering the issue as a war; however, using that rhetoric seems rather questionable.
Before discussing whether or not America should be involved in the situation in the Middle East, I believe it is important to understand what it is that we are doing.
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states, “Congress shall have the power to … declare war.” For the United States of America to enter into war, the President must have support of Congress (although this never seems to happen the way it should).
The United States has only formally declared war five times against 11 nations, and has entered into extended military combat with Congress’ stamp of approval 13 times. There has been a minimum of 125 occurrences in which the USA has been involved in undeclared wars without the authorization from Congress.
Congressional members have done an exceptionable job at reaching across the aisle to continue what they’re great at doing—absolutely nothing. This is evident after the past session, so what I am about to say may be surprising.
A full debate on the issue of Islamic extremism is necessary before we do anything. I am well aware that midterm elections are coming up, so this is probably not something that congress wants to do, but I do believe that it is necessary in order for the interests of Americans to be heard.
This is a bipartisan issue, and not a question that can be answered through simple polling.
On one hand, we have seen this before.
President Bush entered America into the Iraq War in 2003; we did not declare that it was complete until 2011. It does not seem as though much was accomplished through this eight-year ordeal. In fact, it seems as though our previous efforts in the Middle East have further destabilized the area.
Major differences lie between Eastern and Western values. The nations of the Middle East have been at war for thousands of years, and pushing our style of government on these countries isn’t working.
On the other hand, we have seen this before.
The United States of America has been threatened by Islamic extremism before. We all remember 9-11, and there have been terroristic efforts even more recently. ISIS is slaughtering thousands of people in the Middle East and there have been other attacks linked to radical Islam all over the world.
If the government chose to do nothing and terrorism continued, specifically on American soil, then there is justification for further military combat.
These are just some of the points that can be made when thinking about this issue. There are also financial and humanitarian implications that should be addressed in regards to this issue— and many others.
The War Powers Resolution of 1973 states that “U.S. forces must be withdrawn from hostilities within 60 days of the time a report is submitted.” This means that congress must approve the use of military force prescribed by President Obama after 60 days or the troops need to go home.
Whether or not congress wants to address this issue, they need to. Far be it from me to expect anything from Congress, let alone a vote that seals the fate of America in the future, but this is a job duty that can’t be put off (like everything else they do).