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On balance, current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the President.

Opening Argument

Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.

I challenge worthy opponents to a debate on DebateIsland, based on 2018 March policy topic of Separation of Power - "Resolved: On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president."
Rules  - will use Formalish 3 round - 48 hour each. 

Useful sources for 
On balance, the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the president.

1) 

Ten reasons to vote against the use of military force

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/11/open-letter-to-members-congress-about-authorization-to-use-military-force.html

2) 

The office of the US president has too much power, and Congress is finally moving to limit it



joecavalrylove2debate
  1. the current Authorization for Use of Military Force gives too much power to the President.

    9 votes
    1. Affirmative
      55.56%
    2. Negative
      44.44%
Live Long and Prosper


Debra AI Prediction

Tie
Predicted
50%
Likely
50%
Unlikely

Details +


Points For:

24


Points Against:

25



Votes: 3

Rounds: 3

Time Per Round: 48 Hours Per Round

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Voting


Arguments

  • Round 1 | Position: Against
    I will debate that President is our commander and chief and shouldn't have to ask Congress for permission to wage war or strike an attack.
    In August 2013 Obama's decision to seek congressional authorization for a military strike against Syria was a strategic mistake and a sign of weakness.
    if the President has to ask a politically polarizied Congress for permission in a time of crisis then our decision making can be completely polarized.  

    Being a commander and chief is arguably the main job of the President, so lets not polarize the country by limiting that power.
    islander507love2debateDrCereal
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Round 1 | Position: For
    Limiting the power and adding checks and balances is a healthy measure.  We see how unstable and unpredictable Trump is with his actions.  I don't think we want him to pull a trigger just as easily as he is firing off his Twitter messages.
    I respect the role of Commander and Chief, but I support Obama's actions in seeking concurrence from Congress on Syria.  If he would've done otherwise that would have been a stretch of the Constitution
    islander507BaconToesDrCereal
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Round 1 | Position: For
    Thank you for creating this debate about Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUFM).   I will take affirmative position.
    Too much power for any one person is dangerous and should be prevented, especially for military force.
    Even in case of the President of the United States, allowing him to launch a nuclear strike without consulting with anyone is irresponsible.

    Here are key issues with the AUFM:
    1) The President can authorize use of military force on political grounds, and not just to protect the country
    2) Potentially, it can cause continuous war, if motivated by special interests of the President
    3) President can become emotionally unstable (and arguably ours is already....) and we can ne relying on emotions of a narcissistic personality not to enter in unnecessary nuclear war.
    4) It's questionable that AUFM is consititional.
    islander507DrCereal
    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Round 1 | Position: Against
    I am not supportive for limiting Presidential power.  Obama demonstrated poor judgement for asking Congress for permission to strike Syria, and shouldn't be the norm.

    It's an important provision for quick decisions to protect against terrorist threats. 

    Liberal arguments that question Donald Trump sanity or emotional stability are not only unfounded but also disrespectful to the President of the United States.

    In a counter argument, that President wouldn't have power for military force and has to navigate Congress for permission - how long may that take?  
    Lets look at an example how many times we almost shutdown the government because of the political games between Reps and Dems.  Even in the last example where Schumer led Democratic opposition that almost shut down the government.  We really can't afford such a delay in cases of imminent threats where quick actions are required.
    love2debateagsrDrCereal
  • Round 2 | Position: Against
    edited February 6
    Thanks all for posting initial round responses.

    WhyTrump said: Thank you for creating this debate about Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUFM).   I will take affirmative position.Too much power for any one person is dangerous and should be prevented, especially for military force.Even in case of the President of the United States, allowing him to launch a nuclear strike without consulting with anyone is irresponsible.Here are key issues with the AUFM:1) The President can authorize use of military force on political grounds, and not just to protect the country2) Potentially, it can cause continuous war, if motivated by special interests of the President3) President can become emotionally unstable (and arguably ours is already....) and we can ne relying on emotions of a narcissistic personality not to enter in unnecessary nuclear war.4) It's questionable that AUFM is consititional.

    I respect your position @WhyTrump, but calling it irresponsible is subjective.  Would it be responsible for President to seek explicit permission from Congress to respond to a nuclear bomb? There are time sensitive decisions of strategic and tactical importance that we can't afford to make everyone in Congress happy about.  That's the role of elected President.below are my counter argument to your points above.

    1) While it's technically true, is that a larger risk then not responding to a larger threat, and where in history did we see that occur (other than the House of Cards :) )?

    2)  If President truly wants to be malicious, Congress can always lobby for impeachment

     3) That's why President undergoes regular medical evaluation.

    4) Please provide specifics why AUFM is unconstitutional?

    @ale5, please specify why AUFM is a stretch to constitution as part of your next round.
    DrCereal
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Round 2 | Position: For
    Consitution is somewhat vague about presidential use of military power, with room for interpretation.  However, it had provisions for requiring congress okay.

    Below article is an excellent analysis of constitution.

    Authorization to Attack: What Does the Constitution Say?

    Mark Strand, Tim Lang September 10, 2013
    https://www.conginst.org/2013/09/10/authorization-to-attack-what-does-the-constitution-say/

    In trying to flesh out the question of whether the President can act without Congress, a few sections of the Constitution appear crucial in providing an answer. The first is Article II, which creates the Presidency. An important feature of the Constitution is not only that it establishes offices, but also clearly grants particular powers to the officeholders (e.g., the House of Representatives has the authority to originate taxing legislation; the President nominates judges; the Senate ratifies treaties). The Constitution designates the President as Commander in Chief, but the specific powers proper to this role are not enumerated. Rather, the Founding Fathers simply agreed on the laconic language: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States” (Article II, Section 2). It is too much of a stretch to simply infer from the grant of that office that the President has the power to launch attacks without the support of Congress.

    Although the Constitution does not elaborate on the President’s exact powers, one thing is clear: The President does not have the authority to declare war without congressional approval, since Article I, Section 8 grants the legislature this power. Thus, those who would grant the President the constitutional authority to attack without congressional approval in this and other situations would have to argue that the document anticipates both wars and other types of military actions. In fact, the document lists several other armed conflicts: “Insurrections…and Invasions”, and “Rebellion”. These other kinds of military events differ from wars insofar as they are all instances where the country is suffering some attack rather than initiating it. (War can in fact be instigated by an attack, such as World War II, but this is not always the case.) However, the Constitution does not explicitly say who should direct the response to these attacks. This is somewhat ironic, since the need for the Federal Government to be able to put down future insurrections, such as Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts, was a constant topic at the Constitutional Convention.

    agsr
    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Round 2 | Position: Against
    I'd like to see Pro side address the questions specifically how they propose to handle a comgressional deadlock in urgent situations if President needs to get Congress approval.
    agsr
  • Round 2 | Position: For
    @agsr and @islander507
    there is sufficient doubt about Trump's mental state.

    The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more he shocks and alarms us with his strange and extremely unpresidential behavior.

    From the incoherent, fallacious interview he gave the New York Times on December 28 to Tuesday’s tweet about his “nuclear button” to his Saturday morning assertion that he is a “very stable genius,” the remarks keep getting more menacing, bizarre, and portentous of disaster.


    source:
    https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/5/16770060/trump-mental-health-psychiatrist-25th-amendment

    The psychiatrist who briefed Congress on Trump’s mental state: this is “an emergency”

    The case for evaluating the president’s mental capacity — by force if necessary.

    By Eliza Barclay@elizabarclayeliza.barclay@vox.com  Updated Jan 6, 2018, 9:02am EST

    agsr
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Round 3 | Position: Against
    Thanks all for debating.
    in summary, AUFM is appropriate and shouldn't require congressional approval.  
    The arguments regarding constitutional technicality and questions regarding Trump's mental state are not backed by real evidence.
    A counter argument hasn't been provided for how to resolve potential congress deadlock if a real emergency takes place if Congress permission is required.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Round 3 | Position: For
    I provided details why getting Congress approval is important, including in depth analysis of what Constitution says.
    We need to respect the Constitution and the role of Congress to provide checks and balances.
    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Round 3 | Position: For
    There weren't much substantial refuting on key points of how mental instability of one person can prevent a Nuclear War, and need of checks and balance.

    We don't want one person to be in charge of such important decisions.


    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Vote
    islander507islander507 172 Pts
    edited February 10
    Persuasive Argument (For): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 8 Points

    Total Points (Against): 9 Points

    Explanation:  I Enjoyed this debate.  The pro side did great, but didn't refute all points.
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 1 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 9 Points

    Total Points (Against): 8 Points

    Explanation: There is more evidence provided with sources by the pro side.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 1 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 1 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 7 Points

    Total Points (Against): 8 Points

    Explanation: Both sides did a nice job.  Pro had somewhat better sources, but Con side had better and more thorough arguments.  
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