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06 October 2016

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Imagine

Very useful, thank you.

Abu Sinan

Sir,

A recent statement from Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor:

"I point out to all the 'hotheads' that following the September 17th coalition airstrike on the Syrian Army in Deir Ezzor we took all necessary measures to exclude any similar 'accidents' happening to Russian forces in Syria. Any missile or airstrike on the territories controlled by the Syrian government, would pose a clear threat to Russian military personnel. Russian S-300, S-400 air defense systems deployed in Syria's Hmeimim and Tartous have combat ranges that may surprise any unidentified airborne targets. Operators of Russian air defense systems won't have time to identify the origin of airstrikes, and the response will be immediate. Any illusions about 'invisible' jets will inevitably be crushed by a disappointing reality."

He lays the situation out clearly.

Haralambos

Col.,
In response to your description and question: "In fact a combination of political forces that overcomes the president/commander in chief's resistance can take the US to war without congressional action.

"Do you really like this set up?"

In short, NO. Your description in your first paragraph sums up what has driven US foreign/military policy for quite some time.

I vividly remember this piece of news, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and Resolution: http://tinyurl.com/ha86ryo

The Twisted Genius

Sixty days of military action is an eternity. We can get way over our heads in a lot less time than that. I'd like to see that War Powers Resolution require the President to cease military action and/or get out of the area of military action in 48 hours or less. Action beyond that should require specific approval of Congress.

In my not so very humble opinion, I (if I was still a young man) should not have to expend my basic load in military action before those chicken shit bastards back in Washington get off their fat spreading asses and either vote to have me extracted or issued more ammo.

eakens

This appears to only work in a world where Congress has the power to simultaneously de-fund the adversary.

Of course, perhaps the thinking at the time that either nobody would be foolish enough to continue fighting us if after 60 days we decided to end the war; or if they were, then the 60 days would be irrelevant since it would be a nuclear war at that point.

Lefty

Help please, what happened? You've clearly expressed the War Powers Resolution as it is currently viewed. But, it was passed to restrain unfettered executive power to make war, not enable it, and now seems turned on its head.

The resolution requires an attack on the US or its forces (or an imminent attack) that the President must respond to without waiting for Congress. Did Congress just decide "Never mind, we really don't want to be involved, we might get blood on our hands"?

Obama and Hillary certainly pushed very hard on Libya that they had no obligation to do squat for Congress after 60 days or that there had been an initial attack on the US or its forces. The title of the act "War Powers Resolution" gave them infinite authority to wage war.

From the resolution:

"(c) Presidential executive power as Commander-in-Chief; limitation

The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

Jay

Col. In reply to your question. No, not in the past, not now and not in the future. However I am still struggling to understand what gave the President to power to invade Syria currently?

greg0

Having grown up in Iowa, I remember Senator Harold Hughes saying he would not have made a good president as he could not have ordered any nuclear strikes. Of course, this was after he had failed to get the nomination.

turcopolier

Jay

I don't remember the question I asked but as to his authority I would say that under the National Security Acts of 1947 and 1958 he issued a "finding" that authorized covert action. That would then have been briefed to the Congressional Intelligence committees and that would have legally authorized present action. pl

Jack

Sir

This is such an important point you make. I've been noting that the president has limited powers on domestic policy but is truly Imperator when it comes to military interventions. The danger of the Borg Queen is so immense. First, she has a proven track record as a warmonger. Second, as a woman she'll feel the need to be even more belligerent to prove she can be commander of our military forces. The existential threat to the US from an electoral victory by her should not be underestimated.

Degringolade

Gallows Humor: (Thanks Cheech and Chong)

Cheech and Chong comedy routine in which the World War II commander of a Japanese kamikaze squadron briefly reviews the day's battle plan for his troops.

"Today," he exhorts, "you will take your kamikaze airplane high into the sky, over the Yankee aircraft carrier, then take the kamikaze plane down, crashing on the deck, killing yourself and all aboard. Before we have the ceremonial sake toast, are there any questions?"

A hand rises tentatively in the back of the crowd: "Honorable General-San: Are you out of your fucking mind?"

turcopolier

Lefty

The interpretation of what is a threat has become anything that can be claimed to be threatening to the interests of the US and its allies. These days a president, any president can claim authority to use CIA under a "finding" or the armed forces directly under the War Powers Act. BTW, a finding often involves "lending" military personnel and equipment to CIA to accomplish the will of the "finding." This is the case in the loan of USAF people to accomplish the CIA's drone attacks in places not covered by the AUMF. pl

Jack

Couldn't agree with you more, Sir.

aleksandar

I was surprised to know that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is not in the chain of command. Was thinking that maybe he is the only chief of staff in the world that is not.

Fred

Lefty,

You forgot about the Authorization for the use of military force Hilary voted for? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_Terrorists

Babak Makkinejad

This is all another storm in another tea-cup (stkan).

Each side has made the necessary noises and beaten the proverbial chests - just like our cousins, the gorillas - and soon will be back to the business-as-usual of the Great Power Games.

No surprises here.

[Just look at the diplomatic history of UK in the 19-th century.]

Imagine

President's volunteer call-center phone number (202) 456-1111.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

On Dec. 12, 2000 the establishment pulled George W Bush from behind the curtains. Since then the West has been an Imperium ruled out of Washington DC. Discussion of the Chain of Command is like discussing the Roman Empire AD as if it was still a Republic with a functioning Senate. The families who have the most power and money make the decisions today. The mob matters not except for bread and circuses. The Empire’s proxy armies are fighting each other. It’s industrial might outsourced. We are one airstrike on the Syrian Arab Army away from WWIII.

turcopolier

VV

Thanks for the lecture. I will give you an A- on the course. In the time of Marcus Aurelius, Rome was ruled by a good and wise man. We are not and have no prospect of being so ruled. IMO it is important that the American people know how twisted to monarchical rule our government has become. That is why the chain of command is important. It is an emperor's chain of command. pl

turcopolier

aleksandr

Before Goldwater-Nichols CJCS was in the chain of command. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldwater%E2%80%93Nichols_Act#Effects I suppose the reason for the removal from the chain of command was to increase political control of the military.

pl

Kooshy

Colonel Lang, you are absolutely correct, no one will impeach a president in middle of a war and get blamed for losing the war. And no one will dare to deny the troops by not founding them once they are deployed. But how could limit the president' power incase of a real emergency? For sure action can't just wait for unending congress' deliberations and filibuster. Action can't either be transferred to an unelected general or a committee. IMO the answers is, to tighten the elections, and inform and educate people to care and elect better people, more trustworthy of nation' real interests rather than the usual "people of garbage" media let us have . You are already doing this we need much more, people and sites like SST, to educated the lazy mindeds. IMO the first step is to start electing good congress persons.

Ken in NH

Sunday marks the 7th anniversary of President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. While I'm glad Obama has been in office rather than Hillary, he could've done a better job not appointing rabid neocons. He could have appointed Katrina vanden Heuvel or Steve Cohen as his National Security Advisor and they could've acted as his hiring manager. While I'm voting for Trump, I now have a little less confidence in my pick since his VP running mate scared the sh*t out of me with his foaming-at-the-mouth rabid Russophobia in the debate. The dude was low-key and sedate until talk of Syria and Russia came up, then he wanted to start WWIII. Not cool. I love the idea of a congenital dealmaker given the current global chessboard, but now I'm worried what would happen should anything happen to Trump. I have little doubt Hillary would work for the worst case scenario. But given what we've seen of her health, there is a real possibility Kaine might be the President this time next year. I think he would much better than Pence on the foreign issues. Good thing we have 6 weeks to mull all these possibilities.

Anna

"This is all another storm in another tea-cup."
Strongly disagree. Distrust breeds distrust breeds accidents.
Also, your post implies that the US command center is filled with highly professional and competent deciders that put their integrity above their career' aspirations. Which of the wars, during last 15 years, could give support to such belief?
http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/10/breaking-russia-announces-readiness-to.html

turcopolier

Anna

In fact, IMO, the members themselves of the JCS have been systematically replaced in the post-Dempsey era with servants of the emperor rather than of the Republic. pl

turcopolier

ken in NH

IMO Kaine is a holy joe who will not accept world war. Thanks be to God. pl

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