DETAILS
Did President Trump need to get congressional approval before taking military action in Syria?

On April 13, The United States, along with Great Britain and France, launched an air strike against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria after reports of an alleged April 7 chemical attack carried out in the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma. This is not the first time that Assad has allegedly use chemical weapons against his own people; the last time Trump responded with an air strike against the regime, but because the strike didn’t work in preventing future chemical attacks, some believe that a more sustained military effort is required.

Many believe that President Trump should come to Congress for military authorization so a sustained effort to remove the Assad regime completely can take place to prevent any more human rights violations. Others believe that Trump was in the right to use military action without Congressional authorization due to the seriousness of the crimes committed by the regime.

What do you think? Did President Trump need to get congressional approval before taking military action in Syria?

Current Standings:
Yes: 50%
No: 50%
  • Sid from Texas

    At the very least, it’s agreeable that the executive actions President Trump took were unconstitutional for a plethora of factors. Before even diving into the details, however, it’s important to understand that one of the primary reasons that the Senate and House exist is to enforce checks and balances, and therefore, is responsible for mending a problem as extensive as this one. First off, to be considered ‘legal’, the strike that President Trump sanctioned would have to be authorized either by some act or vote by Congress or by the president’s own powers under Article II of the Constitution. In this specific incident and ones like it, the Trump administration has constantly pointed towards the latter – Article II – as serving as a proper means of military use. Contrary to general belief, though, the President actually never met the conditions set in Article II, which allow him to utilize executive privileges. Reason being, Article II provides two explicit powers to the President: the first is called “executive power” and the second simply labels the President as the commander in chief of American’s armed forces. The first power is what President Trump’s actions directly deal with, and serves as both the crutch of my argument and the downfall of the opposing side: The only condition in which the Supreme Court has ever actually endorsed using the first power of Article II was to “repel sudden attacks.” That decision serves as a precedent for the current and future Presidents, one which President Trump violated. But if that isn’t enough of a legal defense, there’s always the simple explanation: there is almost no possible was to argue that the April 13th strikes were in “self-defense”, as there was no direct threat to the security of the constituents of the United States. Arguments in the opposition might fall back on and cite the Authorization for Use of Military Power (AUMF) as a legal, constitutional means of military action, but the problem with that argument is that the most recent (2001) AUMF is very specific about who it actually authorizes the use of force against. Those clauses solely pertain to “terrorist organizations responsible for or connected to the 9/11 attacks.” Military action might have been noble, but President Assad’s government isn’t considered to fit under these parameters. The problem doesn’t just lie with President Trump, and I am by no means offensively criticizing the President. Presidents before him – including Obama, Bush, and Clinton – have made this same mistake. It now lies in the hands of Congress to fix this breach of our system of checks and balances.

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    At the very least, it’s agreeable that the executive actions President Trump took were unconstitutional for a plethora of factors. Before even diving …

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  • Jackson from West Virginia

    It is heartbreaking to see all the atrocities going on in Syria and while I normally support not getting involved with other countries conflicts, we needed to intervene. These strikes sent a message to Russia and Iran that the United States and our allies will not sit back against Assad or them if they decide to fight on behave of him. Trump showed he will not back down or shy away from conflict as Obama did when very similar events occurred in Syria

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    It is heartbreaking to see all the atrocities going on in Syria and while I normally support not getting involved with other countries conflicts, we n…

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  • Lauren from Massachusetts

    Democracy is built on the idea that decisions are made by the people through voting so one individual does not have complete power to do what they want. The strike on syria cost money that the US does not have to spend. This decision should have been brought to congress since it has an effect on our country and the lives of innocent people in Syria.

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    Democracy is built on the idea that decisions are made by the people through voting so one individual does not have complete power to do what they wan…

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    0
  • Eva from Massachusetts

    President Trump is making decisions that should be approved by Congress before being acted upon. It is unfair to the people to find out suddenly about Trump launching an air strike against Syria. I myself am unaware of the full story but what frightens me the most is how I found out about the news. I do think Trump’s actions are putting the US in danger, and that is not right at all. People agree and disagree with him, so there is a mix of support and none at all. Yet he still makes unworthy decisions that should be approved.

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    President Trump is making decisions that should be approved by Congress before being acted upon. It is unfair to the people to find out suddenly about…

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  • Makayla from California

    While the Constitution in Article 2, Section 2 does make the President the Commander-in-Chief of our great nation, the President’s powers are limited, for only Congress can declare war. President Trump needed the approval of Congress because the Syrian Missile Crisis has the power to essentially declare “war” against Syria and its allies, this has the potential to launch the world into another World War, and should not be taken lightly. One could argue that because President Trump is Commander-in-Chief, this missile launch is well within his right and power. However one person cannot possibly be the sole-decider of our Nation’s future. The Founding Fathers set up the separation of powers to prevent one man (or woman) from making choices such as these. I strongly believe that the U.S, Britain, and France should have taken more precautionary measures before handling this situation, however I am not here to argue the legitimacy of Britain and France I’m here to give my input on MY nation’s course of action. We are living in a world where the prospects of tomorrow’s future are bleak, and while I understand the reason for this not going through Congress is it takes much too long to come to a decision, emergency sessions can be held. Emergency sessions were needed prior to the Syrian Missile Launch because it affects our Nation as a whole. This missile launch does not fall under the “Authorization for use of Military Force” (2001) because the use of chemical weapons in Syria did not “pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”. Yes, something needed to be done about Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens, and yes something was done. But was action taken at the cost of our freedom to decide our own future?

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    While the Constitution in Article 2, Section 2 does make the President the Commander-in-Chief of our great nation, the President’s powers are limited,…

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  • Steven from Maryland

    From the end of World War 1 and the 1972 Chemical Convention, chemical weapons are banned from being used as its affects are inhumane. However, an attack on a different country should be discussed before taking such actions. It is not a matter of rules such as checks and balances but considering he affects of each action taken, it may cause more harm than good.

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    From the end of World War 1 and the 1972 Chemical Convention, chemical weapons are banned from being used as its affects are inhumane. However, an att…

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  • Alisa from Ohio

    The checks and balances system works in order to ensure that no branch of government is able to take all the power in the government. While there have been some presidents who might’ve overstepped executive powers, no one has ever done this to the extent at which Trump has. If Congress has the power to declare war then the bombing of another country should be up to Congress, shouldn’t it? The bombing of Syria could very possibly lead to war, and if the president takes that power away, then what stops Trump from starting a war on American liberties and principles?

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    The checks and balances system works in order to ensure that no branch of government is able to take all the power in the government. While there have…

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  • Makayla from West Virginia

    Yes

    0
  • ommay from Tennessee

    Since in was not a emergency, regarding the US the president isn’t allowed to carrying out military attacks without approval.

    0
  • Abigail from Connecticut

    Nobody is perfect, therefore, looking at past events to decide future actions is not always wise. Instead of determining whether President Trump’s actions were constitutional or not, based on previous Presidents’ actions, definitions must be evaluated. What does the phrase ‘declare war’ mean? What does the word ‘war’ mean? Did President Trump act unconstitutionally based upon these definitions? Undoubtedly, President Trump acted unconstitutionally when looking at the true, instead of the perceived, definitions of both ‘declare war’ and ‘war’ itself.

    First, the definition of ‘declare war’ by Merriam Webster Dictionary is “to officially decide to fight or go to war”. By looking at this definition, an argument begins to be formulated. Did President Trump decide to fight? Well, the answer to that is quite obviously, yes. On top of that, President Trump made the decision official by acting on it. If, however, he simply ‘made the decision to fight’, but never acted upon it, then it would not be an official decision. In the event of acting on his decision to fight, President Trump made his decision official. Moreover, President Trump also went to war by launching the missiles. To fully understand this, the definition of war needs to be determined. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines war as, “[A] state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism”. Without a doubt, firing missiles on Syria is “a state of hostility, conflict, [and] antagonism”. Syria had not attacked the United States of America, so, without a declaration of war from Congress, why should the United States of America attack them? The answer is they should not. If the United States of America and President Trump want to get involved, then a declaration of war is needed. Random missiles should not be fired on Syria because the President disagrees with government actions within the foreign nation.

    Furthermore, not only did President Trump’s actions cause an informal declaration of war, they also broke the Constitution. The United States of America’s Constitution states, “The Congress shall have the Power” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 1) “[to] declare War” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11). If, in the above paragraph, it was established that President Trump did in fact declare war, then he acted unconstitutionally. Only Congress is allowed to declare war, according to the Constitution. Although “[t]he President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States” (Article II, Section 2, Clause 1), that does not mean he has the power to declare war. All the Constitution does is give President Trump the power to control the army, not direct the army to war. That is part of the checks and balances put into place by the Founding Fathers.

    In conclusion, even though President Trump did not verbally state, “We are now at war with Syria. This will start with firing missiles at them.”, he did informally declare war by “officially decid[ing] to fight or go to war” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). This is an unconstitutional act that required consent from Congress first. Without receiving consent from Congress, President Trump acted unconstitutionally and must be careful not to overstep his powers in the future.

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    Nobody is perfect, therefore, looking at past events to decide future actions is not always wise. Instead of determining whether President Trump’s …

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  • Recie from West Virginia

    Trump should not have launched that missle with the permission of congress. Just because he is president doesn’t mean he can do want he wants. He has to get permission from congress to start a war.

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    Trump should not have launched that missle with the permission of congress. Just because he is president doesn’t mean he can do want he wants. He ha…

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    0
  • Kayleigh from West Virginia

    Because he doesn’t have the power to declare war on his own, so he shouldn’t have the power to do a missile strike on his own.

    0
  • Bailey from West Virginia

    President Trump did not abide by the War Powers Act.

    0
  • Rachel from West Virginia

    It is simply illegal that Trump took military action in Syria without Congress’ approval. In order to be legal, Trump’s strike had to be granted approval by the Congress or under Article II of the Constitution, which still doesn’t allow him to take action as he did.

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    It is simply illegal that Trump took military action in Syria without Congress’ approval. In order to be legal, Trump’s strike had to be granted a…

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  • Margaret from Indiana

    President Donald Trump illegally attacked Syria. Our President of the United States decided to launch missiles into Syria, because he does not believe that Congress will authorize some act of to approve his actions. He thinks this because of precedents set by other presidents, including Obama. These strikes are also illegal because of Article II of the Constitution, where President Donald Trump can only use his “executive power” in “self-defense”. Actually, the Trump administration hasn’t used the word “self-defense”, but instead used the words, “in our national interest”, to make the administration’s actions seem legal.
    Unfortunately, the problem lies within Congress. Congress needs to stop the expansion of the Executive Branch and use the powers our founders originally gave them. If they do not, the Trump Administration will continue to set a precedent that other presidents will think is normal.

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    President Donald Trump illegally attacked Syria. Our President of the United States decided to launch missiles into Syria, because he does not believe…

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  • Micah from West Virginia

    Trump is the only modern president who had no previous political experience before entering the White House as president. I feel he should’ve consulted with Congress to help make a more sound decision before carrying out the strike.

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    Trump is the only modern president who had no previous political experience before entering the White House as president. I feel he should’ve consul…

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  • Katelynn from Nevada

    The legal justification provided for strikes in Syria is questionable, at best. At worst, it is unconstitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the constitution clearly states that the power to declare war belongs to Congress. Irrespective of whether or not these strikes were necessary, it is not right for the president to take military action without congressional approval, provided our national security is not in immediate danger. The recent strikes do not meet this qualification. In fact, the last time congress actually granted the president military power was 2001, shortly after 9/11, when they allowed the president to use, “all necessary and appropriate force” against those who “planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks.” Since this, presidents have taken this blanket authorization and used it to justify countless acts of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Mali, and now Syria. Whether these acts were beneficial is irrelevant, we should reject them on principle, because the real issue is the President sidestepping congress. The Syrian government may indeed have committed many wrongs, but they certainly did not carry out the 9/11 attacks. Since there was no authorization granted specifically for these strikes, we can only conclude they were unconstitutional. In order to keep our country out of wars we should not be fighting, and most importantly preserve our constitutional checks and balances for future generations, Congress needs put its foot down and finally reign in the excessive power wielded by presidents for the past decade. For everything that does not pose an immediate threat, the President must present his case to Congress, and prove our involvement is actually necessary.

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    The legal justification provided for strikes in Syria is questionable, at best. At worst, it is unconstitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the constitu…

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  • Emma from West Virginia

    Even though the president is commander-in-chief, the War Powers resolution makes it illegal for Trump to take military action without congressional approval. Even without considering law, it takes more than one man to end a conflict. Now there is a great chance that we will become involved, along with the U.K. and France, in an international conflict mirroring the two World Wars.

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    Even though the president is commander-in-chief, the War Powers resolution makes it illegal for Trump to take military action without congressional ap…

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  • Udochi from California

    We must not use what past presidents have done as a justification of the failure to use the law of the land. Just because past presidents have not address Congress when using military forces/weaponry against another nation does not mean Trump should be allowed to do the same. If our president does not abide by the constitution then what is the point of having it. Therefore, Trump must go through the appropriate procedures to combat the chemical attacks.

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    We must not use what past presidents have done as a justification of the failure to use the law of the land. Just because past presidents have not add…

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  • Kiarra from North Carolina

    If Donald Trump didn’t do anything there could have been a worse outcome. In the past issues like this have occurred. If he just sat there and watched bad things would’ve been said about him and because he bombed ,bad things are being said about him. The people of America have become weak and I’m only 14 one might say I don’t know anything but I pay attention to the world. Our people don’t know how to take the blame for themselves they always have to blame someone else and ate this rate is all blamed on our presidient no matter what he says or does there is always going to be someone against it. So it is a good thing that he took that action because even more lives could’ve been taken. That’s what war is, you sacrifice a few to save many. And generally those who are sacrificed know they are fighting for a reason. It’s a sad thing but that one sad thing can become one major issue which in the end would be worse and harder to fix.

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    If Donald Trump didn’t do anything there could have been a worse outcome. In the past issues like this have occurred. If he just sat there and watch…

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  • Anna from Mississippi

    Without consulting congress about his decision, it has created a political uproar, leading many people to think about why he did not consult congress in the first place. Trump knowingly decided to exclude congress, showing in the eyes of those already skeptical of his decision that he believed their opinions would change the course of events, or at least be different than his. His lack of congressional approval is not necessarily against the constitution or any laws; however, it does show a lack coherency in Trump’s reasoning, otherwise he would have no problem seeking congressional approval. His decision to exclude congress brought to light the issues the military action contained. A second issue with his decision is namely stripping a barrier of decision making away from the process of passing any acts that should exist. Thus, by acting without congressional approval throwing off the system of checks and balances.

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    Without consulting congress about his decision, it has created a political uproar, leading many people to think about why he did not consult congress …

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  • Hunter from West Virginia

    I think that President Trump should’ve gotten congressional approval before taking the action he did. Although he is the president, it does not mean he can do whatever he wants before getting the approval of the Congress. It is how the U.S. Government works. I understand that in necessary times there may not be time to get congressional approval and that immediate action may need to be taken, but I do not think this was one of those times.

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    I think that President Trump should’ve gotten congressional approval before taking the action he did. Although he is the president, it does not mean h…

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  • Mindy from Hawaii

    The events occurring in Syria are inhumane but by the U.S. responding to those actions with violence doesn’t fix anything. The only thing it will do is repeat this cycle of hate and raise a new generation of Syrians who only understand violence can cause change. The U.S. is a respected world power — for president Trump to have taken an ill-advised action it will look as though we are risky, unstable, and result in the world losing trust and respect for us.

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    The events occurring in Syria are inhumane but by the U.S. responding to those actions with violence doesn’t fix anything. The only thing it will do i…

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  • Aisha from Texas

    The President of U.S. has many powers; we have seen our presidents abuse these very powers throughout history. The situation in Syria has been going on since 2011. Obama bombed Syria during his presidency, and now Trump is doing the same. The only difference? Media coverage. America was built on slavery, injustice, and colonization; this legacy continues on today. Every time America intervenes in another country, it leaves the country in shambles; take a look at the Middle East, for instance. The President has the power to send troops, but he still needs to abide by the law. Where in the constitution is bombing without valid reason/proof allowed anywhere? The President must get congressional approval before he goes on to destabilize another Middle Eastern country.

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    The President of U.S. has many powers; we have seen our presidents abuse these very powers throughout history. The situation in Syria has been going o…

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  • Elanor from California

    Trump justified his most recent military action in Syria with the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 AUMF. However, these AUMFs only justifie action against groups associated with the organization responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks (Al-Quaida) and actions against Iraq for violating UN Security Coucil resolutions. Al-Quaida was not involved in the chemical bombings in Syria and the 2002 AUMF doesn’t apply either. The problem is that President Trump used these authorizations to take military action without Congressional approval, despite the fact hat neither authorizations apply to the Syrian chemical bombings.

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    Trump justified his most recent military action in Syria with the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 AUMF. However, thes…

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  • Ishan from Mississippi

    I believe that the executive branch setting a precedent for deference to the legislative branch in terms of war fighting is necessary to improve the quality of U.S. defense. Primarily, congressional authority subjects the executive branch’s actions to some modicum of review and levelheadedness – it would not diminish the president’s authority as much as a safety diminishes the authority of a gun. Congressional authority would also provide review of executive branch action which has been unilateral since the Bush administration. Terrible practices such as signature strikes, flawed operations, and use of attacks for diversionary purposes can be mitigated with congressional authority. I also would articulate that the constitutional defense of the Commander-in-Chief authority is based on a very strict constructionist interpretation that does not take into account modern levels of warfare. Especially for strikes that do not require immediate response, acquiring congressional approval would generally be a better option. This is not a partisan issue – Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump all should be subject to general checks on unlimited executive power. The president should never have the ability to act in military matters like this one without any democratic OR legal constraint, otherwise we risk engaging in military measures that mirror the ones we are aiming to punish.

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    I believe that the executive branch setting a precedent for deference to the legislative branch in terms of war fighting is necessary to improve the q…

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  • Zafir from Maryland

    Even though the President is entitled the power of commander in chief by the Constitution, He still has to abide by the War Powers Act. The act regards when the President has to send troops to regions in which he feels need military action is needed, however, the act doesn’t state anyhting regarding bombings. If the power to send missile strikes not vested in the President without Congressional approval, then he should have consulted Congress.

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    Even though the President is entitled the power of commander in chief by the Constitution, He still has to abide by the War Powers Act. The act regard…

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  • no from Alabama

    Because he should not be able to do what ever he wants.

    0
    • Isaac from New York

      Other presidents including Obama did the same thing to other countries without congress’s permission.

      0
  • Megan from Indiana

    President Trump should have at least said something to congress before taking any military action. While something did need to be done about Syria using chemical weapons, Trump should have not taken action without it being made known by congress. America is one country and therefore should take action as the one nation that they are. Which means that congress and the president should work as a team to stop a problem.

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    President Trump should have at least said something to congress before taking any military action. While something did need to be done about Syria us…

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  • Anna from Arkansas

    As a matter of principle, the president should not take any warlike actions without the support of Congress. The Constitution clearly states (in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11) that all powers of war, such as declaring war, mobilizing and funding the military, lie with Congress. For President Trump to take the action he did without Congress’s support is directly usurping Congress’s authority.

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    As a matter of principle, the president should not take any warlike actions without the support of Congress. The Constitution clearly states (in Artic…

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  • Itzel from Wisconsin

    I say yes because a president can not attack a country or declare war without notifying Congress. Our own soldiers could be there and we would just kill innocents. Every life matters. If the President would have notified, then Congress would have been able to clear the way or made our own soldiers to move out of the way so that American blood would not have to be spilled.

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    I say yes because a president can not attack a country or declare war without notifying Congress. Our own soldiers could be there and we would just ki…

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  • Sinserea from Arizona

    I think we are very sufficient when it comes to free speech , etc

    0
  • Bethanie from Colorado

    Anything that has the ability to have impacts on the entire country as a whole should have to be approved by congress before moving forward. The impacts this has now could start wars. It also was completely unnecessary, and there could have been a much better way of handling the situation. The missiles did not help the situation or people at all.

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    Anything that has the ability to have impacts on the entire country as a whole should have to be approved by congress before moving forward. The impac…

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    0
    • Cori from Kentucky

      Just out of curiosity, what would’ve been a better way in your opinion?

      0
  • Claire from Indiana

    Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives to the Legislative Branch the power to decide when the United States goes to war. These two distinct roles, that of the Congress and that of the president, bring up some important questions, including this one.
    After the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Administrations had spent nearly a decade committing U.S. troops to Southeast Asia without Congressional approval, Congress responded by passing the War Powers Resolution in 1973. The War Powers Resolution requires that the President communicate to Congress the committal of troops within 48 hours. Further, the statute requires the President to remove all troops after 60 days if Congress has not granted an extension.
    It is this last part of the statue that President Trump did not take into consideration when authorizing the strikes on Syria. He stated in his address on Friday, “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.” The President simply cannot make the claim of a sustained response until he has obtained the approval of Congress for such a sustained response.
    The second part of this argument is that the actions of President Trump could potentially pull the United States deeper into the ongoing conflict in Syria. Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador to the United States, said in a statement, “We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences…Insulting the president of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible.” These strikes threaten to draw the United States into a confrontation with Russia and Iran, both of which are supporting President Assad with military forces.
    Without prior approval from Congress, engaging the U.S. military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States has been declared clearly violates the separation of powers as represented in the Constitution.

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    Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives to the Executive Branch the command of the nation’s armed forces, while Article I, Section 8 gives t…

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  • Ethan from West Virginia

    Although commander and chief, president Trump should have addressed his advisors before performing an act that could easily be considered as a declaration of war.

    0
  • Stephanie from New Jersey

    Although he may be president, he cannot continue to do unnecessary things like this without approval from anyone else. There’s no need to attack a country because that country’s leader already attacked the country.

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    Although he may be president, he cannot continue to do unnecessary things like this without approval from anyone else. There’s no need to attack a cou…

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  • Chelsey from Michigan

    As a president he needs to have approval for anything that can affect this country as a whole. His actions reflect on the country and not just him because he is not just a person he is the face of the country

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    As a president he needs to have approval for anything that can affect this country as a whole. His actions reflect on the country and not just him bec…

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  • Alexandria from Georgia

    Yes, Trump may be the president, but Congress also has a say in how the country should be ran. Congress is the voice of the American people. When Trump goes and makes a decision that affects the lives of all American citizens without asking Congress, he’s essentially ignoring the wants of America. While Trump may have thought of America when making his decision, he would have been more thoughtful had he talked things over with Congress.

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    Yes, Trump may be the president, but Congress also has a say in how the country should be ran. Congress is the voice of the American people. When Trum…

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  • Tyler from Michigan

    Article II ,Section II of the United States Constitution states,”The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States.” The President (Donald Trump) has control over the U.S. Military and Navy. Although it is not in his power to declare war (War Powers Resolution) he has the power to participate in a missile strike on a regime that is mistreating its people with chemical weapons.

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    Article II ,Section II of the United States Constitution states,”The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, …

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  • Cori from Kentucky

    Essentially, before 9/11, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 would be utilized in this situation. President Trump would’ve had to notify Congress within 48 hours of the air strike ( which he did though it seems to me not a formal way) and it states that armed forces can’t remain for 60 days which is not too complicated because we fired missiles anyway; however, President Trump did not decide to go with this act. President Trump used the act that both President Bush and President Obama used before Trump called the Authorization of Use of Military Force Act of 2001. Basically, it gives the president the ability to order an attack on terrorist groups that aided in the 9/11 attacks or those that could perform similar attacks in our nation or others. I feel that Trump followed those guidelines because yes, the Assad regime has consistently performed terrorist attacks on its own people and Trump notified Congress. According to the Authorization of Use of Military Force Act of 2001, what Trump did was completely legal.

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    Essentially, before 9/11, the War Powers Resolution of 1973 would be utilized in this situation. President Trump would’ve had to notify Congress withi…

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  • Spencer from Alabama

    The President did not need to seek congressional approval for his strike on Syria. Many would argue that the executive power of commander in chief detailed in Article 2 Section 2 of the Constitution does not encompass the ability to approve missile strikes of a foreign nation; however, like much of the Constitution the powers of commander in chief remain vaguely outlined. The Founders could not predict advancements in technology, development of foreign nations, or the rise of hostile regimes and therefore purposefully left many provisions in the Constitution open for interpretation. Due to the vagueness of the President’s powers of commander in chief, one cannot argue that the President acted outside of his Constitutional rights.

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    The President did not need to seek congressional approval for his strike on Syria. Many would argue that the executive power of commander in chief det…

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  • Carson from New Jersey

    The President serves as the commander in chief of the United States military, and as such, he is able to authorize certain military actions. Since we are not currently at war with Syria, the airstrikes that happened do not require congressional approval. The point can be made that the Constitution does not explicitly ban the President from launching a military strike, so the concept of “implied powers” also applies here. As commander in chief, President Trump was able to exercise his executive power to conduct this strike. I personally commend President Trump’s actions, which have destroyed key chemical weapons facilities without claiming any confirmed civilian casualties as of yet. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has already used those chemical weapons to commit horrific atrocities against his own people, taking hundreds of lives with these weapons. I believe that President Trump’s joint missile strike, together with the efforts of the United Kingdom and France, should be commended as a military measure which has protected potentially hundreds or thousands of lives from a gruesome death at the hands of the Syrian dictatorship and their chemical weapons. This action will certainly set back Syria’s chemical weapons program, hopefully until such time that a more permanent solution can be instituted.

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    The President serves as the commander in chief of the United States military, and as such, he is able to authorize certain military actions. Since we …

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  • Thomas from Pennsylvania

    President Trump did not need to seek approval from Congress to carry out the strike on Syria. Before Trump, presidents have gone over the heads of Senators and Representatives to carry out action, including military action, without their approval. I believe Trump was justified in his attack on Assad. Assad is a dictator who kills his own people with toxic gasses, a crime against humanity. The use of airstrikes was an appropriate reaction to Assad’s crimes. Trump should keep the pressure on Assad to put a stop to the chaos his causes.

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    President Trump did not need to seek approval from Congress to carry out the strike on Syria. Before Trump, presidents have gone over the heads of Sen…

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  • Ryan from South Dakota

    I’ll begin with some context. Syria has attacked the Syrian rebels with illegal chemical weapons. Chemical warfare was banned after World War 1 because of the devastating and horrendous effect that it has on people. The ban has been enforced since 1972 by the Chemical Weapons Convention, making The Syrian government’s actions a national crime because of their membership to the CWC (Chemical Weapons Convention). Even though the Syrian government’s target was the rebels, Syrian citizens got caught in the crossfire, resulting in the harm of hundreds, and the death of eighty citizens. Because of the president’s position as Commander in Cheif, he did not need Congress’ approval to take military action. The only military action the Commander in Chief needs permission for is the declaration in war. Although his action may seem like irresponsibility of the power he possesses, his “recklessness” actually resulted in some positive outcomes. By attacking Syria, President Trump established dominance over the corrupt government of Syria and made a statement of superiority to Russia. His actions also resulted in an alliance with France and Great Britian, who also sent missiles and fighter jets to Syria. Despite public opinion, our president is extremely capable of his job, and will always do his best to better our country. He may occasionally seem irresponsible, but in times like this, swift and effective action is necessary to keep our country’s head above the water.

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    I’ll begin with some context. Syria has attacked the Syrian rebels with illegal chemical weapons. Chemical warfare was banned after World War 1 becaus…

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  • Lubna from New York

    If something is really important, the president has the right to make his decision.

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  • Isaac from New York

    The President only needs congress’s approval to declare war not make a military maneuver.

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  • Michael from West Virginia

    Although I don’t agree we should have gotten involved in Syria I also do not think the POTUS needs congressional permission to take military action. As commander in chief of the United States the president should be able to make decisions without being treated like an irresponsible child. He did not act alone in his decision like a dictator because he had advice from the secretary of defense and had the backing of our multiple allied nations.

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    Although I don’t agree we should have gotten involved in Syria I also do not think the POTUS needs congressional permission to take military action….

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  • Owen from Florida

    No as he never actually declared war. He just took action as a commander in chief and ordered a strike based on concerns for the national security.

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  • Sarah from Alaska

    President Trump is, by all means, able to commit military troops to a location without declaring war. The War Powers Resolution requires that the President notify Congress within 48 hours of committing those troops; however, 48 hours can be a long time, and often, the War Powers Resolution is ignored, as President Bill Clinton did in his bombing Kosovo. Although I do not believe that President Trump’s actions were advisable since a proxy war seems almost inevitable, it was within his powers to authorize the air strike on Syria.

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    President Trump is, by all means, able to commit military troops to a location without declaring war. The War Powers Resolution requires that the Pres…

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  • Ryan from West Virginia

    NO, since when has congress been able to get anything finished quickly? President Trump did not declare war on Syria, he was sending a message and exercising his powers as Commander In Chief. He is the decider when it comes to the military. He knows much more about the middle east than probably most of congress does, and he has knocked out ISIS, I trust him when it comes to taking any military action. I pledge my support for President Trump, and hope God blesses him with the wisdom to protect and guide this country.

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    NO, since when has congress been able to get anything finished quickly? President Trump did not declare war on Syria, he was sending a message and exe…

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  • Laura from Ohio

    While then bombing of a country already entrenched in so much war is morally wrong in many aspects, the President does not need Congressional approval in order to take military actions. One of the main duties of the President is to be Commander in Chief of the military meaning he can use it at any time for any reason without approval. The only instance in which he would need approval is when declaring war which is a duty given to Congress by the Constitution. Although the action was unnecessary he does not need approval to do it. Additional approval actions might be needed to balance this power out in the future.

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    While then bombing of a country already entrenched in so much war is morally wrong in many aspects, the President does not need Congressional approval…

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  • Dylan from West Virginia

    If he were to go through Congress, there would be the risk of any actions being delayed by the Congressional process. While I don’t think this should apply to all decisions of war, waiting on Congress for everything isn’t the most efficient.

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    If he were to go through Congress, there would be the risk of any actions being delayed by the Congressional process. While I don’t think this shoul…

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  • Austin259 from West Virginia

    Trump had to do it with what was happening. It was to serious to wait for Congress.

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  • Hannah from West Virginia

    The attack on Syria was not an act of war, nor was it carried out in a way that violated the World Powers Act. The air strike itself was not an act of war, and Congress was notified. If war does come from this a declaration of war still needs to occur separately to make it official.

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    The attack on Syria was not an act of war, nor was it carried out in a way that violated the World Powers Act. The air strike itself was not an act of…

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  • Chase from West Virginia

    Trump’s actions were well justified, and he has the executive power to do it.

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  • Roy from Maryland

    The President of the United States has many functioning roles as the leader of the Free World, including Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Syria has been continually warned by the United States of dire consequences they would face if they were to use chemical weapons against their people. President Trump did nothing but launch strikes against a perilous threat. President Trump did not launch an all-out war against anyone, and is completely within reason for launching these strikes through executive power.

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    The President of the United States has many functioning roles as the leader of the Free World, including Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Syria…

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  • Laderick from Florida

    As stated in article 2, of the constitution the president has the right to defend America interest abroad. According to,the constitution he only has to go to congress for a declaration of war or for treaties. Set back in the the Obama presidency the Red line was there to effectively stop the use of chemical weapons, if president Obama had enforced it we probably wouldn’t be in the spot we are in now. The air strike it self that was carried out was to limit the chemical weapons that Syria had and was employing on citizens of Syria. Non combatants, innocent men, women, and children. Now that President Trump is keeping to it a lot of people have a problem with it, but if President Obama did it he would be praised as a hero nation wide by the left leaning media. If you go back in history many Presidents have more aggressive attacks.

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    As stated in article 2, of the constitution the president has the right to defend America interest abroad. According to,the constitution he only has t…

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  • Jax from Texas

    Trumls actions were completely justified

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  • Amber from Texas

    Technically the president does not need to consult Congress when it comes to using the military, if he were wanting to declaring war on Syria then yes he would need Congress’s approval. It is one of the president’s implied powers, as commander of the military. And under the War Powers Resolution he is within his legal limit. Now the real question is, ‘SHOULD the president have consulted Congress before launching missiles to Syria?’

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    Technically the president does not need to consult Congress when it comes to using the military, if he were wanting to declaring war on Syria then yes…

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  • Dylan from New York

    No President Trump did not need authorization from Congress to strike Syria. Congress was notified like required under the War Powers Act. Syria is a major national security threat. Assad is supported by U.S. enemies, Russia and Iran. The Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad supports Al Qaeda and Hezbollah. The State Department even found evidence that Assad supported ISIS. Assad is an enemy of freedom and President Trump took appropriate action against him. Since Syria supports Al Qaeda, military action is authorized under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in 2001. The United States is militarily involved with Yemen, Libya, Niger and Somalia without declaring war. In 2012 Obama supported rebels to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi without a new (AUMF). Overthrowing a leader is even more aggressive than what President Trump ordered. President Trump’s airstrikes were not an act of war because they were a one time attack. This is just the media trying to twist the Syria narrative and political opportunism of Trump opponents. The media did not cover Libya in 2012 this way. Therefore, Syria is a national security threat that President Trump handled effectively and constitutionally.

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    No President Trump did not need authorization from Congress to strike Syria. Congress was notified like required under the War Powers Act. Syria is a …

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  • Cambria from Illinois

    Although the president may often act rashly, he did have constitutional backing to his actions. The purpose of the air strikes were to prevent future chemical weapon attacks by Assad. He was not declaring war. Does the president get approval every time a South Korean Missile Defense system (THAAD) shoot down a North Korean missile? No. The point is that unless the government declares, and commits the country to pursuing the coercive diplomacy, no congressional approval is necessary.

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    Although the president may often act rashly, he did have constitutional backing to his actions. The purpose of the air strikes were to prevent future…

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  • Hadley from Wisconsin

    This question has multiple different layers to it, so a “yes” and “no” answer is probably not ideal. However, I’ll do my best to clear some of this up. President Trump did not need Congressional approval for his strikes against Syria. This attack was completely separate from his previous attacks on the same regime, so it does not violate the “60 day” clause in the War Powers Resolution. In addition, this document states that the President is allowed to send military personnel and equipment to foreign nations as long as it is not a declaration of war. President Trump did not declare war in any way, he simply sent air strikes over a span of one day to cease the ongoing issue of dehumanization and illegal use of chemical warfare. Therefore, President Trump did not have to refer to Congress in making this decision. Now, the other side of the argument states that President Trump should have talked to Congress. Ethically, it probably would have been best for him to do this due to the future consequences and possible tensions between America and Syrian allies. A path through Congress would have potentially calmed the issue and came up with a more effective plan towards bringing peace and humanity back to Syria. President Trump, our commander-in-chief, did not choose this path. Is it right or wrong? That’s a separate debate. However, if the question is about technicalities, President Trump had every Constitutional right to send in these air strikes.

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    This question has multiple different layers to it, so a “yes” and “no” answer is probably not ideal. However, I’ll do my best to clear some of this up…

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  • Jacob from Alabama

    For the past couple of years, the U.S. has continued to warn Syria what would happen if they continued to use chemical weapons against their own citizens and for years very little has been done. Both the air strike last year and the air strike carried out a few days ago did not need to be brought before Congress. President Obama dropped 12,000 bombs on Syria ober the same issue and nothing was said. President Trump orders the air strike on Syria’s chemical weapons facilities and all of sudden there is an issue. The strike was sent to a place that would cause as few citizen causalites as possible. Therefore Trump did not need Congressional approval because Syria has been warned for years and for years Syria has continued to build up their supply of chemical weapons without haste. This action was needed in order to protect the Syrian people.

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    For the past couple of years, the U.S. has continued to warn Syria what would happen if they continued to use chemical weapons against their own citiz…

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    • A from Texas

      So America is going to bomb Syria, to teach Syria, that Syria should not bomb Syria? You really think that U.S. intervention is protecting Syrian people? If anything, you guys are destabilizing ANOTHER Middle Eastern country. We do NOT want your so called “protection”. Take a look at what America did to Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Palestine. Take a look at the men, women, and children of those countries and tell me did you guys really help? Is helping even the intention at this point? People are DYING every single day, but all of a sudden everyone wakes up and realizes it is time to help Syria?? Stay OUT of Syria, stay AWAY from Syria. This is another ploy to further destabilize the Middle East. You guys “warned Syria” but the thing is, have you actually EVER heard of what Syria wanted?? American troops really sign their life to committing mass murder in the Middle East, JUST for free college – not even for patriotism.

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      So America is going to bomb Syria, to teach Syria, that Syria should not bomb Syria? You really think that U.S. intervention is protecting Syrian peop…

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  • Hannah from Texas

    The President of the United States is defined in the constitution as the commander and chief of the military. In order to declare war, one must have congressional approval; but the strike on Syria did not constitute a declaration of war and therefore, as commander and chief, President Trump did not need congressional approval.

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    The President of the United States is defined in the constitution as the commander and chief of the military. In order to declare war, one must have c…

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  • Micah from Pennsylvania

    I believe that President Trump was in the right as he carried out the attacks in Syria, though the War Powers Act may have been looked over. No matter what though, the president, under the Constitution, should be able to carry out some attacks like the ones in Syria. For if he is Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, he ought to have some power in this manner. The just cannot declare war without congress’s power.

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    I believe that President Trump was in the right as he carried out the attacks in Syria, though the War Powers Act may have been looked over. No matter…

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  • Evelyn from Washington

    The attack on Syria was not an act of war, nor was it carried out in a way that violated the World Powers Act. The air strike itself was not an act of war, and Congress was notified. If war does come from this a declaration of war still needs to occur separately to make it official.

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    The attack on Syria was not an act of war, nor was it carried out in a way that violated the World Powers Act. The air strike itself was not an act of…

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  • Caleb from Minnesota

    President Trump and his fellow administration need to take some of their actions without Congress approval as to stay effective. Bringing the issue to Congress for approval would result in a process that would take days or weeks, when to prove a point and get things done what we really need is to act immediately, like the President did.

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    President Trump and his fellow administration need to take some of their actions without Congress approval as to stay effective. Bringing the issue to…

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  • Tiffany from Georgia

    The President is the person who has the ultimate say. He is trying to do the right thing and trying to stop Syria from hurting it’s own people.

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  • Morgan from California

    The missile strike was not a full declaration of war, and past presidents have done much more aggressive attacks without asking Senate for permission (Iraq and Iran for one). This was a precision attack on a facility and the loss of life would have been minimal.

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    The missile strike was not a full declaration of war, and past presidents have done much more aggressive attacks without asking Senate for permission …

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  • Nathanael from Virginia

    As the President of The United States of America, he has the power and authority to order strikes on syria

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  • Brandon from California

    In the modern era, Presidents subverting Congress to do anything has become common practice. I am old enough to remember when President Obama did not need congressional approval to enter Libya. And when this happened, there was no question whether he needed approval from congress by the Democrats. Only the Republicans were questioning it. And now the shoe is on the other foot and many Republicans are not questioning whether President Trump needed approval to strike, but it is the Democrats that have serious questions about this. As long as the party of the President is the majority in Congress, these types of decisions will not be seriously scrutinized by Congress.

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    In the modern era, Presidents subverting Congress to do anything has become common practice. I am old enough to remember when President Obama did not …

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  • Libby from Arkansas

    President Trump did not need approval from Congress before taking these actions. Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution states that “the President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States…” President Trump was acting within his role as the Commander-in-Chief of the military when he ordered these strikes. The War Powers Resolution requires the president to notify Congress within 48 hours when troops are sent into battle, which the President did. If troops are actually sent into battle the President must get approval if troops are deployed longer than 60 days. President Trump was following the precedent of numerous other Presidents who have ordered military strikes or sent troops into battle without getting prior approval from the Congress. This is an excellent example of the government principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. The branches act independently but must also cooperate at times in order to accomplish tasks. For example, only Congress can declare war but only the President can actually send troops into battle. Our founding fathers were brilliant and created a government that required the branches to work together in order to keep them from becoming too powerful.

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    President Trump did not need approval from Congress before taking these actions. Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution states that “the President s…

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  • James from Colorado

    According to Article 2 of the Constitution when our National Interests are at stake, then the President has the authorization to act without informing Congress. Its really only in trying to go to war ( i.e. Declaration of War) that he has to go to Congress and lay out his case, then Congress has to vote and declare it.

    Besides that, its only the lefties stating that he needs to go to Congress and they are still butt hurt because they can’t figure out how Hillary lost a rigged election. They let Obama go and ramp up troops in Afghanistan without Congressional authorization. But Trump is acting within limits as President unlike the last prevaricator in Chief that went and exceeded his Constitutional authority with his pen and phone too many times to count and amazingly we heard crickets from the left. But then they want the Government to run the whole show with no limits on power … its called tyranny.

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    According to Article 2 of the Constitution when our National Interests are at stake, then the President has the authorization to act without informing…

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  • Michael from Nebraska

    The AUMF from 2001 authorizes this military action. I personally feel the AUMF should be rescinded because it gives the President too much power but that’s besides the point.

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  • J from Pennsylvania

    The constitution gives Congress the ability to declare war. While war wan’t declared, the wars in Iraq, and the Civil war in Syria (The war on terror in general) were authorized by Congress during George Bush. After that, the president of the United States is Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Therefore, it is his job to carry out the strikes.

    I vote no simply because approval was already given during the second Bush administration, and the war is still on-going. Trump has no need to get congressional approval, because Congress gave their approval: In the Senate 98-0, In the House of Representatives: 420-1.

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    The constitution gives Congress the ability to declare war. While war wan’t declared, the wars in Iraq, and the Civil war in Syria (The war on terror…

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  • Evan from Wisconsin

    The answer is no – in this case. The US, Britain, and French attack was small and I would not go so far as to say it was a war action. It was a defense move as it was carried out to defend not only their own countries, but also in defense of national law. And it’s not like Congress cannot do anything about it. They have the purse and can cut funding if the president would overuse his power.

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    The answer is no – in this case. The US, Britain, and French attack was small and I would not go so far as to say it was a war action. It was a de…

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