Home National Politics Jim Webb’s Libya Resolution: A Few Thoughts

Jim Webb’s Libya Resolution: A Few Thoughts


I’ve got a few thoughts on Jim Webb’s Libya resolution. First and foremost, I don’t see where this leads. I mean, the debate over the roles of Congress and the Executive Branches in conducting (or participating in) military operations has been going on for decades now, and has pretty much led to a complete dead end. How many military operations have we seen in the 20th and 21st centuries – including in the Reagan Administration, which Jim Webb was an important part of – where Congress actually declared war, or even where Congress a priori approved the use of force?  Very, very few, if I’m not mistaken (including Reagan’s military actions in Libya, Nicaragua, Lebanon and Grenada, none of which had Congress’ explicit, a priori consent; did Jim Webb protest then?).  

As far as today’s Libya situation is concerned, what’s preventing Congress from passing whatever resolutions or holding whatever debates it wants?  Other than the fact that public opinion appears pretty strongly behind U.S. support for air operations in Libya, and also given that numerous Republican and Democratic members of Congress support the operation, or if anything have criticized Obama for not doing MORE!

Anyway, the bottom line is that I mostly see the Webb/Corker joint resolution as getting nowhere and accomplishing nothing.  We’ll see…

In addition, I think this comment on the Frum Forum nails it:

So, what is it they want? Withdrawal? Congress did not have to enact the War Powers act; they did so because they were unwilling to do their duty in making a decision. Now they complain but without putting forth an idea or plan or decision.

Regardless of my personal views of lending support to NATO’s bombing in Libya, I find Congress’ actions over the last several decades, going all the way back to Reagan, completely incomprehensible and irresponsible.

That about sums it up for me. What about you?