“Surge in US Forces” without Congressional Approval Violates US Constitution

Concerning the proposed ‘surge’ by the Bush administration of 20,000-plus U.S. troops into Iraq, this requires further authorization by the U.S. Congress under the terms of the War Powers Resolution. Section 4(a)(3) makes it quite clear that the War Powers Resolution is triggered … ‘In the absence of a declaration of war [which we do not have for Iraq], in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced … (3) in numbers which substantially enlarge United States Armed Forces equipped for combat already located in a foreign nation….’

We currently have about 140,000 troops in Iraq. Sending in an additional 20,000-plus would ‘substantially enlarge’ those forces. Therefore, the Bush administration would require further authorization from Congress for this euphemistic ‘surge,’ which is really a substantial escalation. Failure to obtain additional authorization from Congress for this substantial enlargement of U.S. Armed Forces in Iraq would constitute an impeachable offense under the terms of the United States Constitution for violating the Constitution’s War Powers Clause

Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Francis Boyle is Author of Destroying World Order:  American Imperialism in the Middle East Before and After September 11


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Articles by: Francis A. Boyle

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