The Atlantic

The Soleimani Strike Defied the U.S. Constitution

If Congress fails to respond effectively, the constitutional order will be broken beyond repair, and the president will be left with the unmitigated power to take the country to war on his own—anywhere, anytime, for any reason.
Source: Tom Brenner / Reuters

The drone strike that killed Major General Qassem Soleimani, leader of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, raises many legal issues, but one of the most significant—at least to the American constitutional order—is that President Donald Trump ordered the strike without so much as informing Democratic leadership in Congress, disregarding Congress’s essential role in initiating war. If Congress fails to respond effectively, the constitutional order will be broken beyond repair, and the president will be left with the unmitigated power to take the country to war on his own—anywhere, anytime, for any reason.

As nearly every account of Soleimani’s killing has made clear, he was responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. Soleimani of Iran’s successful regional ascendancy in the Middle East—through both direct action and an array of insurgent proxy forces that have fueled conflicts across the region. Presidents before Trump, however, , concluding that doing so would spark war with Iran and unleash its proxy forces against the U.S. and its allies.

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