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Support the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act via The Seattle Times

The framers of the Constitution clearly did not want the president or the military to wage war on their own, without consent of the people, through the Congress that represents them.

In January, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu of California introduced legislation that would prohibit the president of the United States from conducting a “first-use nuclear strike,” unless such an attack had been authorized by a prior declaration of war by Congress. At last check, nine senators (all Democrats or Independents) and 58 representatives (including one Republican) had signed on as co-sponsors. The bill, known as the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017,” was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Neither body has taken any further action.

[…]

One of Congress’ most solemn and crucial duties is to declare war (or not) against a foreign power. The Constitution places that responsibility squarely in the hands of Congress, and no one else. But Congress has been hesitant to exercise this authority. The years of war our nation has undertaken in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East have all been carried out without a declaration of war. Instead, our military continues to fight under Congressional consent from a long-outdated “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” passed shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. Congress has not revisited that action since, nor actually declared war on any nation, despite spending more than a trillion dollars to support those military actions.

In fact, the last declared war our troops fought and died in was World War II.

The framers of the Constitution clearly did not want the president or the military to wage war on their own, without consent of the people, through the Congress that represents them.

[…]

An offensive nuclear first strike — killing millions of innocent civilians — would certainly be understood by the world as a horrific war crime. And any leader who ordered such an attack would immediately become the world’s most despised war criminal.

Formally committing the United States to a No First Use policy will be one small step toward a safer, saner planet.

Read more at Support the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act 

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