Rand Paul Demands Declaration of War Against ISIS

Antiwar Groups Slam Draft as Attempt to Widen War

Sen. Rand Paul (R – KY) has today unveiled a draft declaration of war against ISIS that he intends to introduce in the Senate in December, authorizing “limited” ground operations against ISIS.

Congress has not declared a single war since World War 2, when it was declared in the wake of Pearl Harbor. On the one hand, Sen. Paul’s push is seen as an aim to assert Congressional authority to declare wars during an era when wars tend to be unilateral presidential decisions.

Yet Sen. Paul’s bill is being harshly criticized by antiwar groups as well, which see the draft declaration as risky, particularly to the extent that it defines “limited” operations well beyond what President Obama has already announced.

In an interview with US News and World Report, Antiwar.com Editorial Director Justin Raimondo predicted that the attempt to limit the scope was a strategy “likely to backfire and simply open the door to a wider war,” adding that “attempts to limit the introduction of ground troops will never hold.”

Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin also criticized the move, saying Sen. Paul, who has supported the ISIS war so far, is “not his father’s son anymore,” and risks alienating former Rep. Ron Paul’s (R – TX) supporters by positioning himself as more pro-intervention.

“If people want a candidate who’s going to be pro-intervention, they might as well vote for Hillary Clinton,” Benjamin added. President Obama has yet to comment on the proposal, but has expressed support for an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), a legal shorthand occasionally used in wars that falls short of a formal declaration.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.