The Constitution establishes this requirement precisely because our Founding Fathers understood the importance of checks and balances in matters of war. Unfortunately, we have strayed from this bedrock principle, and recent examples in Libya and Syria have produced disastrous results for our national security. As a medical doctor, I am guided by the principle of: “First, do no harm.” To best protect our national security, it is important that we not rush into conflicts without a clear plan for victory. If we must fight, then we will fight to win. But we should address global threats strategically and consistent with our Constitution.
I believe that defending this country is the primary and most important constitutional function of our federal government. Our nation is at its strongest when we establish clear priorities. For example, the irresponsible spending polices of the past decade have grown the national debt and weakened our defense capabilities. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has even noted that the national debt is among the biggest threats to our national security. Yet despite these clear warnings, little has been done to establish clear spending priorities to protect our national defense. I strongly oppose the kind of reckless spending that has damaged our national security and would limit our ability to respond to threats. We must also protect the constitutional role of Congress in making decisions about when or where to approve military force against threats abroad. Under our Constitution, no president has the unilateral authority to commit our armed forces to conflict.