Obama's War Speech Leaves 'Basic Questions Unanswered,' Amash Slams


Amash, Facebook

President Barack Obama declared war, or something like it, on the Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL): hundreds of additional ground troops in Iraq, a plea for congressional funding of anti-ISIS rebels in Syria, and more. You can read it all here.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) is not happy. He wrote a 300-word response on Facebook. Here's the beginning:

When our government orders our young men and women into harm's way, our leaders have a duty to define the mission, set a plausible strategy, and explain why the risk of our children's lives and our citizens' resources is justified. President Obama has failed to fulfill those obligations.

The president boldly claimed, contrary to the Constitution, that he alone can order our Armed Forces into a protracted war. And he left unanswered the basic questions responsible Americans and their representatives must ask before going to war.

Some of those unanswered questions:

Whom, specifically, will the mission target and what, specifically, is the threat to our homeland?

For how long do we expect to put our young people's lives at risk? …

Who are our partners and what resources will they commit? Will the president stop our military involvement at air strikes regardless of how our allies are faring?

Which rebel groups does the president intend to arm in Syria and Iraq? How do we know that those weapons won't be turned against us and our allies?

When will we have accomplished our objectives?

Amash has in the last day been very outspoken about his opposition to getting tangled up in this war, the president's supposed authority to do so, and the hawkishness of a few fellow Republicans like former Vice President Dick Cheney.

He isn't the only one speaking out. As Reason's Robby Soave reports, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says this war is technically unconstitutional.

Former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich jabbed at Obama with one his own quotes from 2007: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Constitutionality aside, who can blame these guys for opposing war with ISIS? After all, the group does not pose a credible threat to the U.S. homeland, according to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

NEXT: Guys Who Gave Goodell His Job Hire Former FBI Director to Investigate If He Should Keep His Job

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Constitutionality aside, who can blame these guys for opposing war with ISIS? After all, the group does not pose a credible threat to the U.S. homeland, according to the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

    Outside of the lying lefties and the obots here (I count, what, six?) does anyone presume a real intelligence rather than a certain cleverness to this lying bastard?
    Given ‘the clever’, there is some presumed upside for Obo to be doing what he’s doing.
    Why? Is O-care a disaster far beyond what we’ve seen and a diversion is preferred?

    1. We need another disaster to replace the current disaster. Think of all the stimulus it will generate.

      1. Except that lately, we don’t seem to be replacing any disasters, just adding to their number.

    2. You are right that there is some epic-level stupid going on in his Admin. These sorts of things are supposed to be “opportunities” for the president to get free airtime and give themselves a booster shot. He didnt’ even make sense.

      As i predicted, he didn’t even NAME ‘Assad’.

      Because strategy, dude.

      1. To be fair, ‘Assad’ was like his 947th word in the speech.

  2. From what I can tell, one major goal of the war is to teach the Islamic State that doing exactly what Mohammad did and said to do means you are doing Islam wrong. Thankfully, we have Obama to set them straight on “real” Islam.

    1. In his defense American politicians have been playing that particular game in earnest for more than a decade now. I’d have been stunned if something like that wasn’t said.

  3. Bad poll numbers give the executive branch unlimited war making authority. You’d think someone as concerned about the Constitution as Amash would remember that.

  4. Question, where is the immediate threat to the USA from ISIS?
    Why are we playing World Police?
    Who’s benefiting from another war?

    1. A) Angry brown people with guns are always threatening to Americans

      B) Leader of the Free World (TM)

      C) The Grand Panjandrum looks a lot less like a pussy in comparison to Hillary. Isn’t that alone worth a war, you racist?

    2. We have always been at war with Middle East Asia. Seems like it, anyway.

  5. Yay War!

    *shakes his head*

  6. 60% of Americans support starting this war, so it must be a good idea.

  7. We as a nation are woefully misinformed
    Section 1

    Congressional Obligations
    11: To declare War,
    16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
    Section 2
    Executive Obligations
    1: The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.