Today Jamie Radtke, US Senate candidate from Virginia, released a statement criticizing President Obama’s decision to intervene in Libya:
President Obama’s decision to commit America to a third concurrent war has two serious flaws. First, the president has committed American troops to battle without the authorization of Congress. And second, Libya does not present a security threat to the United States, and we have no business being a part of this military intervention.
It is the United States Congress, not the United Nations Security Council, which should determine if we commit the American military to war. A United Nations vote does not supersede a Congressional vote.
I am disturbed that the President seemed more concerned about a U.N. vote than Congressional authorization. The United States Congress must hold an immediate vote on a declaration of war on Libya.
I support the war in Afghanistan, which was in response to the terrorist attack on U.S. soil that killed thousands of Americans, and the war in Iraq, which was intended to stop a WMD program that we and nearly all other nations believed that Saddam Hussein was undertaking. While I would have preferred declarations of war, Congress did at least pass war resolutions for the use of military force in both wars.
In Libya, however, the United States is facing no imminent national security threat, yet we are doing most of the heavy lifting, and we have no Congressional authorization for the use of military force.
While I think it’s a little late (albeit better late than never) to come out with an official statement on the war in Libya, three days after it began, I largely agree with she has said. Also, as she pointed out to me, Radtke is the first amongst the candidates and the Virginia congressional delegation to make a statement on the war since it has begun, though Majority Leader Eric Cantor spoke about Libya with Wolf Blitzer earlier this month, and released a statement afterwards. Clearly this is troublesome as it is Congress’ job to authorize such a war. One would think being passed over would upset them at least a little, the Constitution aside.
I do, however, disagree with Radtke’s support of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and see this as an inconsistency in her views. It also makes me wonder if there is a bit of populism driving her position on the most recent war as the Tea Party movement has become increasingly leery of intervention in foreign affairs. Alas, credit where credit is due.