Policy Round Up: War

Friday, May 17 2013 13:39 | Written by Shanel Adams

Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing related to the nation’s use of military forces. The hearing included testimonies about the law of armed conflict as well as the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force. The war authorization was passed after 9/11 and allows the President to put military forces anywhere. As you can imagine, this power outraged many policy makers, especially those committed to bringing all troops back home. 

Ever since the War on Terror began, experts have advocated for policy related to America’s involvement in war. Many of them are adamant about expressing not only how war affects men and women in uniform but also our nation as a whole. 

Nado Bakos explains the need for America to adapt its war methods:

“It’s time to re-evaluate the United States’ definition of victory against the War on Terror. Is defeating al Qaeda’s central leadership considered a victory when the ideology fosters a following of lone individuals and loose networks? 

Given my experience following Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s network and evolution as the lead Targeting Officer on the CIA’s Zarqawi Operations team, it’s my opinion that we need to step back from the reality we came to terms with right after 9/11 and evolve with the extremism we hope to combat.”

Read the full article in Pacific Standard.

Daniel Jackson analyzes how recent U.S. policy gives military power against civilians: 

“Rather than a force of peacekeepers, the police looked more like troops on the battlefield, and in many ways they acted like it. This has all been made possible by little reported on Pentagon programs that give military gear to police forces.

This so called large transfer of technology has allowed law enforcement to basically change their entire purpose by implementing gear and weaponry that twenty years ago would never have been considered for use on the American people.

Sadly, America is increasing becoming eerily similar to many different dictatorships throughout history. From unilateral powers to declare martial law, to the ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge, the powers that be have truly moved towards an American police state.”

Read the full article in SHTFplan.com.

Harold Hongju Koh has a solution to ending what he calls the “forever war”:

“Left to pick up the pieces, Obama got off to a promising start, but that effort has slowed. Since 2010, the Obama administration has not done enough to be transparent about legal standards and its decision-making process. Small wonder that the public has lost track of the real issue, which is not drone technology per se, but the need for transparent, agreed-upon domestic and international legal process and standards. The Obama administration should now make public and transparent its legal standards and institutional processes for targeting and drone strikes, give facts to show why past strikes were necessary, and consult with Congress and allies on principled standards going forward. Most important, he should oppose proposed legislation that would grant him unneeded new authority to strike new shadowy foes.

The real and pressing issue facing the United States is how to end the Forever War underway since 2001. If the Obama administration cannot persuade its citizens, Congress and its closest allies that its drone program is legal, necessary for that task and under control, it will be hard for President Obama to see that war to its much-needed conclusion or take the other steps needed to secure the peace.” 

Read the full article in Real Clear War.

Shanel Adams

Shanel Adams

Shanel Adams is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.tv. She is a public relations major, political science minor at Howard University originally from Detroit. Shanel is passionate about poverty alleviation and political participation.

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