Asking how the executive should be allowed to conduct war masks the fundamental question of whether war should be allowed at all – ensures a military mentality


Plan reduces credibility – shows our hand to enemies



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Plan reduces credibility – shows our hand to enemies


Scowcroft 93

(Brent, Arnold, National Security Adviser Under Bush I and Ford, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs in Bush I, The Washington Post, “Foreign Policy Straightjacket”, 10/20/1993, p. lexis)



Maneuvering in the complex environment of a Somalia -- or of a Haiti, Bosnia or the other crises that loom on and just over the horizon -- requires the agility of a ballet dancer, not the Mack truck of legislation. In a world that increasingly places a premium on a rapidly adaptable foreign policy, codifying highly detailed requirements in a public law is a recipe for ineffectiveness. It undermines the president's ability to threaten, cajole and pressure our adversaries by publicizing the costs we will and won't pay and by broadcasting the conditions and constraints under which our forces will operate. At the same time, it leaves our friends and allies, whose cooperation we seek, to wonder whether Congress will permit the president to follow through on his promises and commitments. Finally, it stays on the books, continuing to tie the president's hands as circumstances change and Congress's attention shifts to other priorities. Now more than ever, trying to legislate foreign policy is simply a bad idea.




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