Declaring War On ISIS

Thoughts on presidential powers from Richard Epstein.

I’ve been thinking about a long post on whether or not we’ve entered a post-Westphalia era. A lot of the confusion we’ve had over the past thirteen years has arisen from the fact that we’ve never had a formal declaration of war. If ISIS is a state (in the Westphalian sense), it is one that has certainly declared war on us, and a great deal of clarity would form if we were to reciprocate. It would end all this nonsense of treating Islamic terrorism as a criminal matter. They are no different from the Nazis, and their goals are in fact more vile and ambitious. As Netenyahu said yesterday, the Nazis believed in a master race, and they believe in a master religion.

7 thoughts on “Declaring War On ISIS”

  1. OK, there are perhaps many things to criticize Mr Obama about, but this may not be one of them.

    In Iraq, there is a recognized and constituted government that kind of lumps along and muddles through, and last I heard, the leaders of that government asked the U.S. to drop bombs on the terrorists. Syria is embroiled in a civil war, but last I hear Mr. Assad is still the head guy, and even though his patron Iran is doing the Liberal-Left comparison thang of “See, see, the U.S. is (not the only party) doing something illegal”, Mr. Assad let people know through his foreign minister that he too is cool with the U.S. bombing Syria’s insurrectionists.

    Since two Westphalian states are cool with the U.S. Navy and Air Force to bombard rogue actors within their borders, so dude, what’s the problem?

    1. Those Westphalian states no longer seem to be Westphalian states (if they ever were). For instance, they seem to have no control whatsoever over their borders or own territory.

      1. No control over their borders and territory? You mean like parts of France and apparently Great Britain? You mean like the United States? You mean like the White House grounds?

        Since when did control over borders and territory be a requirement to stay on the UN Security Council?

    2. “OK, there are perhaps many things to criticize Mr Obama about, but this may not be one of them.”

      In a way we have already declared war, although not as officially as we did in WWII. After 9/11, congress authorized the use of military force against AQ. It is this authorization that has lead to us using military force in at least half a dozen countries. The problem is that is focuses too much on AQ and ignores its sister groups. We also didn’t know at that time, that AQ and other Islamic militant groups would be such a global problem. Our political and military leaders really need to reevaluate the situation as it exists, come up with an overarching strategy, and explain to the public what is going on.

      It has been 14 years, it is time for a national review.

      The problem with Obama is that he tries to hide what the military is doing around the world from our country. Our leaders need to be honest about what and were we are engaged in. Obama can’t even be honest about the people we are fighting. Obama ignores the real world evidence we all observe about AQ’s motivations and blames poverty, political representation, and America for what is going on.

      1. Hide what his military is doing? He is hiding what his HHS and CMMS are doing? Through a series of waivers and extensions and selective enforcement, he has for the most part ended the Affordable Care Act without telling anyone about it?

  2. Tony Blair, speaking in Chicago, in 1999, stated that the Westphalian system was anachronistic.

    “”set out a new, post-Westphalian, ‘doctrine of the international community.'” Blair argued that globalization had made the Westphalian approach anachronistic. [9] Blair was later referred to by The Daily Telegraph as “the man who ushered in the post-Westphalian era.”[10] Others have also asserted that globalization has superseded the Westphalian system.[11]”

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