The Corner

National Security & Defense

Whether to Strike Iran Is for Congress to Decide

At Bloomberg Opinion, I argue that the U.S. isn’t properly “locked and loaded” to attack Iran until Congress says so.

While it is true that modern presidents have tended not to acknowledge that they need congressional approval before going to war, enough of the original understanding of the proper division of authority has survived that presidents have often asked for that approval anyway. President George H.W. Bush got Congress to bless military action to drive Iraq out of Kuwait in 1991. President George W. Bush obtained congressional approval for the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Barack Obama sought congressional authorization for military action against Syria, and stood down when that authorization was not forthcoming.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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