On Declaring War

One of the great weaknesses of totalitarian governments (and government wannabes such as ISIS) is their tendency to think that free societies are run as theirs are.

One of the Nork’s diplomats has gone on record saying that President Trump has declared war on them. While Rocket Man has the authority to declare war, the President of the United States does not. According to Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 11 of the Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war.

The President hasn’t and can’t declare war or North Korea. However, he does have the general authority to order our forces to act in self-defense. Further, if presented with a violation of the 1953 Korean armistice agreement, he probably has the authority to carry forward the UN police action prosecuted by Presidents Truman and (briefly) Eisenhower.

13 thoughts on “On Declaring War

  1. The sad thing is that so many folks over here, some with many years in the tutelage of academia, don’t understand those facts at all.

  2. When I had orders to 2nd ID in Korea in ’88, I told my folks before I left that if the balloon ever went up over there, don’t expect me to come home.

    30 years on, and… yeesh. Still a trouble spot… only worse so, thanks to people in power here ignoring what they’ve been doing over there. I don’t think it’s going to end well.

  3. I’m not convinced that, for practical purposes, the 1950 Security Council authorization for Korea carries much weight today because the Soviets were stupidly boycotting and the PRC had not yet been admitted. I would imagine that they would insist on a new vote, and the British and French might support them.

    As for the United States, the constitutionality of the Korean War remains in question. Truman essentially argued that America’s membership in the UN eliminated the duty of Congress to declare war, which is something I have a very hard time imagining this president and Congress supporting.

    Of course, I believe that’s all immaterial because I’m not seeing the US do the things (such as huge troop redeployments) that any attack would require. If the regime collapses during a strike, 28,000 Americans are wholly inadequate to deal with the fallout and the disaster in Iraq will look quaint in comparison.

    On the other hand, watching Kim play Trump is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Who knew that North Korea would someday be running a more professional strategy shop than the United States? I sure didn’t.

    • Of course, I could be wrong. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

      If I am, can you please stay far away from the Yalu River this time? That’d be great because absolutely no one is signing up for a war with China. For that reason alone, Trump’s Patton-MacArthur fetish is pretty troubling.

  4. I am headed overseas next week for a mission that directly affects and is affected by the fat tyrant in the North (as opposed by the fat lying racist in the South).

    It is my humble opinion that we have given the North Korean government ample opportunity to stop rattling the sabre and work together for peace.

    If I was running the show, JSOC would be making every effort to put a 50 Cal Barratt round through Whoa Fat’s fat cranium. Whoever decided to take the reigns would be told in no uncertain terms that any threat to the US will result in your cranium being ventilated as well.

    I estimate that it would only take 2-3 ventilated tyrants to convince them to quit jacking around.

    Problem solved… and with minimal loss of life.

  5. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 09.27.17 : The Other McCain

  6. Today Secretary of State Tillerson answered questions in Bejing. After stating that firm, verifiable, complete denuclearization of North Korea is the only outcome acceptable to the United states, SecState revealed that the United States is (and has been) in direct negotiations with North Korea.

    The purpose of these two linked announcements is (pick one):
    (A) To de-escalate the situation by alleviating fears that “Trump won’t negotiate”.
    (B) To embarrass the North Korean leadership which has publicly stated that their nuclear weapons are non-negotiable.
    (C) Both of the above
    (D) Neither of the above
    (E) Never Trump!!!!!!!!!!!

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