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Re: A Question of Royalty
Posted By: Dave, on host
Date: Monday, October 15, 2001, at 15:20:28
In Reply To: Re: A Question of Royalty posted by Darien on Monday, October 15, 2001, at 05:50:15:

>> Just out of interest, was a formal declaration
>>of war made in the Gulf War? Or should it be
>>the Gulf Police Action?
> To my understanding, it was all fought by the
>President's order until about two days before it
>ended, when congress actually declared it a war.
>But I may be incorrect.
> At any rate, I'm nearly positive that war *was*

Nope. The last official declaration of war issued by the US Congress was against Nazi Germany in 1941.

I'm always amazed how many reporters and journalists make a huge deal out of this. Every time there's a conflict, people bring up the fact that the US hasn't declared war since World War II.

Well, there's nothing mystical about it. It's all rather simple, actually. Check out the link below. Look at Article 2, sections two, three, and four. That's why we've not declared war since WWII. The UN Charter makes it illegal, and we are a signatory nation of that charter.

So how do we get around that? Well, in the current world order, the US doesn't "Declare War". Instead, Congress enacts a "Resolution Concerning The Use Of Force" or something similar. And there *was* one enacted for the Gulf War, basically giving Bush 41 carte blance to fight Iraq in order to protect Saudi Arabia and liberate Kuwait. In the current action against Afgahnistan, a similar resolution was passed, giving Bush 43 similar powers to fight this new "war". But as far as the UN is concerned, we're not currently fighting a war. We're acting in self defense. It's all pretty good Orwellian double-speak.

At any rate, a "Resolution Concerning The Use Of Force", if it's broad enough (i.e. if it basically says "Congress gives the President full power to use military force against nation X for purpose Y") is functionally equivalent to a formal declaration of war. But it gets us around those sticky UN rules.

-- Dave

Link: UN Charter

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