A Conversation with Sen. Tom Udall about War Powers

November 18, 2019

Ryan sat down for a conversation Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico to talk about an issue that matters a lot to them and should matter a lot to you: war powers. In her contribution to a new roundtable on war powers, Oona Hathaway has a perfect lede: “The U.S. Congress has not approved a use of force since 2002. And yet the United States certainly has not been at peace in the years since.”

Military operations all across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa are ongoing and expanding. As Hathaway writes elegantly they are all “grounded in capacious readings of Congress’ 2001 and 2002 authorizations for use of military force.” Edward Corwin described the way foreign relations powers are divvied up in the constitution as an “invitation to struggle”. But — as the years since these aging authorizations have demonstrated — it’s not a fair fight, is it?

Don’t miss this episode, which pairs well with the new war powers roundtable in the Texas National Security Review.