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Dems on war funding: "we have plenty of time"
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't forget the Congressional Research Service memo they were waving around before taking their spring break. According to CRS the Army has plenty of funds if it starts shifting them around now. I covered some of that here and here. More of the impact here from MG William Caldwell, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Effects in Iraq:
"...I can tell you from over here, it's going to have an immediate impact in the sense that the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq element that we have is charged with building, equipping, helping to develop the Iraqi security forces, and that is going to have an impact on them. Now to what degree? You know, we can get into a lot more specifics, but they are already starting to feel the effects of not having this funding....at the current moment, because of this lack of funding, MNSTC-I is unable to continue at the pace they were in the developmental process of the Iraqi security forces.
Clear enough?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
The Democrats are walking into the same trap that the Republicans did with Clinton. Putting principles ahead of getting the job done may play to the party faithful, but the majority of Americans expect congress to pay the bills one way or the other. Rove must be laughing his head off.
 
Written By: BrianOfAtlanta
URL: http://
Good — Congress has to make it have an impact if they are to be taken at all seriously. Sure, it’s got political risks, but I’m sick of Congress being so concerned about re-election that they don’t take a stand and use their constitutional powers to limit the executive. I would argue that the founders intended the US only to go to war (including engagements like Vietnam and Iraq, when there is sustained military action not necessary for the defense of the homeland except by a verbose string of ’what ifs’) when the elected representatives of the people approved it. The founders gave Congress the explicit constitutional right to cut or limit funding on any executive action, as well as to investigate the executive branch. Only Congress has the power to declare war.

My praise for Congress is tempered by their use of pork to get the bill passed, and their effort to make it look like they’re not truly pressuring the White House. Be up front about it — say "if the President vetoes this bill expressing the will of the people to have a withdrawal plan to assure we are not stuck in Iraq for years, then yes, that will create some hardships for the military. The President has to decide what he wants to do — follow the will of the people as expressed through their public representatives, or protect his own personal policy choice and thus create military hardship. He could do the latter with no consequence if he were a King, but as President he answers to us."

Now, if there had been an actual declaration of war I think the issue would be far trickier.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
As I’m sure you are aware this faux concern is easily debunked by taking a quick look at when the last two supplementals were enacted.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Dr Erb Congress DID authorize the Use of Force...I know you didn’t miss that. PLUS, Doc, you want to find somewhere in the Constitution, that you seem so enamoured of, that grants the Speaker and Majority Floor Leader the powers of Commander-in-Chief? If not, then, a portion of the bill passed is simply UNCONSTITUTIONAL....

Congrees authorized the "war." Now Congress can fund it or not...but they have NO authority to manage it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Congress DID authorize the Use of Force...I know you didn’t miss that. PLUS, Doc, you want to find somewhere in the Constitution, that you seem so enamoured of, that grants the Speaker and Majority Floor Leader the powers of Commander-in-Chief? If not, then, a portion of the bill passed is simply UNCONSTITUTIONAL....

Congrees authorized the "war." Now Congress can fund it or not...but they have NO authority to manage it.
I disagree completely on your interpretation of the Constitution. I tend to go more with the position taken by Ron Paul. While there is a case to be made that Congress can authorize the use of force, they have the power to set provisions for their funding. But if you think that’s unconstitutional that’s what we have the Supreme Court for, to make those calls.

By the way, this is not really a war in Iraq. The war was won in 2003. This is a big government social engineering effort that seems to be going bad (something conservatives have noted in the past usually comes from government efforts at social engineering.)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Yeah whatever Doc...No Congress can’t manage the war. And if Congress tries I believe SCOTUS will say:
1) "Political Question" not our purview; or
2) Congress is in the wrong.
The war was won in 2003. This is a big government social engineering effort that seems to be going bad (something conservatives have noted in the past usually comes from government efforts at social engineering.)
Debatable, actually. I think that the social engineering in Europe and Japan did stunningly well. Any way, war or combat continues, just as it continued in the US West from the 1870’s until the 1880’s. I’m not sure what you’re point about 2003 is, really? Elaborate, would you?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
this is not really a war in Iraq. The war was won in 2003
In other words... Mission Accomplished?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
I woulds elaborate on "Social Engineering"...libertarians believe in it too. Under the rubric of "indvidual responsibility/liberty/personal freedom" libertarians are simply telling the folks using their taxes to change their habits or starve. It’s Social Engineering, don’t fool yourself. So let’s leave Social Engineering as a perjorative phrase at home...it’s not just for Conservative Republicans or Liberal Democrats any more...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I tend to go more with the position taken by Ron Paul.
That’s not an interpretation of the Constitution, however, it’s merely a statement of preference without even a cursory nod to the actual law on the issue.
Be up front about it — say "if the President vetoes this bill expressing the will of the people to have a withdrawal plan to assure we are not stuck in Iraq for years, then yes, that will create some hardships for the military.
Unfortunately, it’s a Hobson’s choice, which is really no choice at all. In your formulation, either the President "creates hardships" for the military by not going along with Congress’ attempt to arrogate Executive Branch powers to itself and thus foregoes the money needed to do its job, or it "creates hardships" by pulling out early, leaving a catastrophe waiting to happen, and ensuring future missions that many of those same troops will be forced to fight. As I said, that’s not a choice, and it is deeply irresponsible of Congress to create this situation.
The President has to decide what he wants to do — follow the will of the people as expressed through their public representatives, or protect his own personal policy choice and thus create military hardship.
To be blunt, I’m really sick of this "follow the will of the people" crap when used to somehow micromanage the war. If we want a military led by committee then we should change the Constitution. Until that time, military decisions should not be made on the basis of polls, nor on the current whining coming from Congress. Military decisions should be based on events on the ground.
He could do the latter with no consequence if he were a King, but as President he answers to us.
He does answer to our will, Doc. It’s called an election, and he can’t sit for one again. Short of that, when it comes to commanding troops in the field he doesn’t have to answer to anyone (i.e. Commander in Chief), with the exception that Congress can pull the plug on the war chest.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
with the exception that Congress can pull the plug on the war chest.
Which I’d like to point out, they are not at all doing. They’re playing political games with the war chest. If they were to be actual concerned, responsible congressmen, they would have separate votes.

1) Fund the troops? Yes or no
2) Give a deadline to the troops? Yes or no (though this is most likely unconstitutional)
3) Reward spinach farmers for getting everyone sick? Yes or no
4) Other pork...
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
If we want a military led by committee...
I thought we already tried that?
 
Written By: Shasta
URL: http://
To be blunt, I’m really sick of this "follow the will of the people" crap when used to somehow micromanage the war. If we want a military led by committee then we should change the Constitution. Until that time, military decisions should not be made on the basis of polls, nor on the current whining coming from Congress. Military decisions should be based on events on the ground.
It’s less micro-managing the war and more forcing Bush to get out of Iraq in a timely manner. The war was won in 2003, this isn’t war now — this is a kind of weird sitting in the middle of an insurgency and sectarian violence/civil war, trying to somehow bring a stable system into being friendly to our interests. That’s a social engineering experiment using military power, it’s not really war.

But Congress does have the constitutional authority to limit funds and put conditions on them. And when foreign adventurism — again, we won the war Congress authorized when Saddam fell and the Iraqi military was defeated — goes on and on with no apparent end or clear goal, Congress should act. This gives the President more leeway than simply cutting off funding would. But I’ve gone back and read through the constitutions (the relevant sections at least) and can’t find any wording to suggest that the President’s role as Commander in Chief does anything to negate the role Congress has to choose how to fund the military — I find nothing disallowing conditional funding.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I woulds elaborate on "Social Engineering"...libertarians believe in it too.
No! Nein! Nyet, Tovarishchi Joe! Libertarians don’t want to actively solve all your problems for you. Libertarians don’t put the best and the brightest in a room and make them come up with some way to manage everyone else’s lives. Just because their political program involves changes in society, doesn’t make them "engineers" or technocrats. They are precisely the people who want to leave as many decisions to individuals in society as is practicable while retaining the protection of rights.

So when you say, "libertarians are simply telling the folks using their taxes to change their habits or starve," that’s not ordering them to do anything. That’s allowing someone maximized options short of coercion and fraud, not managing their place in society according to some plan.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Yeah Bryan, in the end society looks like it "ought" to under libertarians...social engineering=making the "good and just" society. And yes, I think it is possible to see an outline of that society, and if libertarians ran things it would move towards their vision of that good and just society.

This is like "Special interest group" and "public interest group." If you’re the former you are evillll or at least suspect, and if the latter one supports rainbows and unicorns. The REALITY is that both are special interests and lobby to advance their own agendas and interests. Only one is more liked thna the other, but the difference is only semantics, not reality. So, too social engineering.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Which I’d like to point out, they are not at all doing. They’re playing political games with the war chest. If they were to be actual concerned, responsible congressmen, they would have separate votes.

1) Fund the troops? Yes or no
2) Give a deadline to the troops? Yes or no (though this is most likely unconstitutional)
3) Reward spinach farmers for getting everyone sick? Yes or no
4) Other pork... "

here here
Im all for using political process to do what one things is right, just do it already you cowardly chuckleheads! Defind the war, take responsibility for whats happens afterward and get on with life. Dont try to bleed us to death, by trying to make Bush look worse than he already does to the populace. That is what that bill was about, it wasnt about wanting to stop a war, it was about trying to to damage to republicans. If they gace a damn they would pass a bill to defund and ONLY defund, Bush would veto and then they can pass it anyway. If it never passes, you fund the war then restart bills to defund it :)
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
If I gave a damn id use spell check sorry about the horrid post. eek
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
They’re playing political games with the war chest.
You may be right. But then again, it could be that they ALL are playing games. Many Republicans know Iraq is a failure, but want a face saving way out to avoid political damage. In so doing, more die. Maybe that’s the tragedy here, both parties put politics first.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Joe -

You cannot compare the two. An engineer doesn’t just leave the pieces to act as they will; he puts them together according to a plan so that each will be in its proper place to achieve a preferred goal.

Social engineering is not just "making the ’good and just’ society"; that’s oversimplifying so that you can draw a comparison. Social engineering involves (heck, I’ll use the Merriam-Webster definition) "management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society : applied social science." In other words, the antithesis of political libertarianism. Libertarians don’t typically think of human beings that way.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Perhaps Scott Erb (to clarify from the other Scott we have here) though I’m not sure how to divine that some republicans "know Iraq is a failure" nor that they know it can’t be a success, however I must say I’m pleasantly surprised to see you supporting the president and his "Mission Accomplished" speech, and not being rather ignorant of the content so as to better criticize as many others do.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://

 
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